First, the unpronounceable name and it’s origins. Named after Pietro’s home town in Sicily, Ogliastro, is the latest member of the Hallett/Sclafani family of Brooklyn restaurants. When pronouncing Ogliastro (ôl-yās’tro), the ‘g’ is silent.
Vacant and in total disrepair, Pietro had been eyeing the location for years. He loved the challenge of the oddly triangular space and expansive courtyard. After undertaking the much larger Bevacco in Brooklyn Heights, the thought of a small space won Kristen over and she agreed to another adventure.
Ogliastro is like the youngest child blessed with seasoned parents. The menu is simple; wood fired artisanal pizzas with appetizers and salads that claim equal attention. The simplified menu is the perfect vehicle for a fresh take on flavor and seasonal ingredients.
The bar offers inventive cocktails, seasonal craft beers and an exclusively Italian wine list.
Owner Pietro Sclafani
Pietro Sclafani, a native of Sicily, was 6 years old when his family moved to New York City. Raised in Lower Manhattan, Pietro opened his first restaurant, L’Udo, in 1994. In 2001, he took the plunge and relocated his business pursuits to Brooklyn with the opening of Luce in Park Slope. Luce made a well received transformation into Bar Toto in 2003 and is still going strong.
In the fertile grounds of Brooklyn, both his personal and business families quickly grew -marriage, two children and four more restaurants. Provini joined Bar Toto in Park Slope, Bar Tano pioneered Third Avenue in Gowanus and Bevacco was established in Brooklyn Heights. In 2014 Ogliastro opened in Prospect Heights. Pietro continues to embrace the vibrant and ever changing Brooklyn community.
Owner Kristen Hallett
A childhood spent in Alaska, Goose Bay Labrador, Washington State and New Hampshire, Kristen is still wondering how she ended up living in Brooklyn, married to a Sicilian and being owner of five Italian restaurants. The segue happened in 1999 when she met Pietro who coerced her into a culinary bicycling expedition of the boroughs. In their travels, they discovered Park Slope and found an old deli for rent on a quiet residential corner. Hardly knowing a thing about Park Slope (or Brooklyn) they signed the lease and started transforming the space into what is now Bar Toto.
With beginnings as a fine art photographer, Kristen went on to spend 15 years producing advertising campaigns. This turned out to be a terrific learning ground for how to juggle, a necessary talent for raising two kids and staying on top of everything restaurant.
Chef Steven Flynn
Hawaiian roots may be somewhat unexpected for a future chef of Italian cuisine and pizza genius, but Steven Flynn has always had a flair for food. While his official culinary career began at his Uncles’ pizza joint in Oahu, JJ Dolan’s, it was his mother, Karen Flynn, who cultivated this young chef’s passion. In 2011, Steven traveled to NYC to visit friends in Park Slope. When the airports closed due to hurricane Irene’s unexpected intensity, Steven found himself faced with a decision: reschedule his flight, or stay in Brooklyn. Showing a truly Hawaiian desire for easy adventure, and imbued with the Flynn family’s love of excellent food, Steven took a risk and committed to following his dream in New York.
Steven’s initial training in Classical Italian cooking was under Roman Chef Antonio Morichini at Pietro and Kristen’s Brooklyn Heights restaurant, Bevacco. Steven spent a year in the kitchen at Bevacco learning the fundamentals of Italian cuisine, both traditional and contemporary. He was offered a position as Sous Chef to Simone Bonelli at Fabricca, later following Bonelli when he joined Saraghina, where Steven played a big role in perfecting the pizza program. When Pietro and Kristen were making plans for Ogliastro in 2014, it became quickly apparent that he was the natural choice.
Other bars and restaurants in the Ogliastro Family
60 Henry Street
1302 8th Ave
457 Third Avenue
411 11th Street