A beagle rescue with a penchant for canine nudity is the unlikely name inspiration behind Naked Dog, an appealing new Italian eatery opening on Greenpoint's Java Street this Saturday. Owner Cecilia Di Paola, whose pup Luigi eschews collars of any kind, hasn't created a dog-themed restaurant, per se, but celebrates her love of hounds with cheeky wallpaper bearing images of fire hydrants. If it were up to Di Paola and co-owner Akmal Muhamatkulov, pooches of all kinds would be as welcome in the restaurant as they are in Di Paola's native Italy. Maybe when they get sidewalk seating someday.

There's no gimmick when it comes to the food, though, just pastas made from scratch, succulent meats and other Italian dishes executed by chef Amit Rabinovich, whose experience as sous chef at Mario Batali's Babbo certainly comes in handy here. The team was kind enough to offer us a sneak peak of some dishes, including the porchetta-inspired Pancia di Maiale of pork belly served atop fennel and several types of beans and the Spezzatino su Polenta, braised beef on a crisp polenta cake bed with horseradish gremolata on top.

It's not Italian without pasta, whether that's house made Rabioli di Magro, beef-filled ravioli in a sage butter sauce, or the Linguine with mussels and cherry tomatoes, cooked in the mussel liquor with wine. Dishes have gourmet appeal, like the elegant plating of the secondi options, but with a homey, comfort food bent, like the bowl of briny noodles. It's a good balance for a neighborhood that appreciates longtime residents while welcoming the influx of new folks perhaps looking to put down roots of their own.

Art from Di Paola's travels, including a vintage chandelier and a large scale menu from an Italian trattoria, serve as eye candy during a meal. Be sure to Instagram the droll wallpaper in the bathrooms, one of which depicts neighborhood-appropriate fixed gear bicycles. In addition to dinner service, the restaurant will also operate a takeout window on the West Street side of the building, vending coffee, pastries and sandwiches to commuters coming on and off the nearby India Street Pier stop for the East River Ferry.

47 Java Street; website

Naked Dog Menu