Patti Jackson has been cooking in New York for 20 years — most of them at Italian restaurants like Mad.61, Le Madri, Alto, and i Trulli. But before she went to cooking school in Baltimore, she grew up in Northeastern Pennsylvania, and the mid-Atlantic region is her culinary muse. So when the opportunity finally came to open her own restaurant, a stripped-down 40-seat spot inhabiting the old Egg space in Williamsburg, she named the place for the 19th century canal (and later, railway), Delaware and Hudson, and chose to showcase foods from Baltimore to Buffalo.
That swath (often overlooked, according to Jackson) is home turf of such delicacies as Pennsylvania Dutch scrapple and Maryland crab cakes, both of which materialize on her brunch and lunch menus. For dinner, a $65 four-course “menu fixe” inspired by the original Torrisi Italian Specialties format, combines aspects of family-style service with a choice of entrées, a general feeling of abundance, and great value.
Jackson is that rare thing, a Greenmarketer and pastry chef by training who effortlessly floats back and forth over the sweet and savory divide. (All breads and pastries are baked in-house.) Her pasta background comes in handy, too; if the menu didn’t tell you otherwise, the farmer’s cheese dumplings with flowering wild mustard might be gnocchi. — Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld