Our latest installment of Quick Bites brings us to a "modern Italian eatery" in Brooklyn's Columbia Waterfront District.

Brooklyn's Columbia Waterfront District is a quiet micro-neighborhood that feels more isolated than a glance at a map would suggest. Separated by the BQE from Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill to the east, cut off from Red Hook by the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to the south, blocked from the actual waterfront by the shipping yard, it's not the sort of place you find yourself regularly passing through.

Which is why, after traveling down multiple long residential blocks to get here, it's always a bit of a surprise how lively it is on the main drag, Columbia Street, replete with bars, restaurants, and other shops. One of the newest spots on the strip, opened last November, is The Longshoreman — a sleek, somewhat fancy "modern Italian eatery" named in homage to the dock worker's bar that occupied the space in the 1950s.

The dockyard theme is carried through, albeit in upscale fashion, with a series of artsy black-and-white photos of knots and such. A long white marble bar fronts moodily-lit bottles of booze, with a row of candled tables and elegant gray banquette running along the opposite wall. An eight-top in the back near the wood-burning pizza ovens and a few high tables looking out at Columbia Street complete your seating options. Service errs on the side of the solicitous. Be prepared to hear a speech about the menu.

(Scott Lynch / Gothamist)

There's a bit of a disconnect between the high-end atmosphere and the menu, which is stuffed with safe, family-friendly choices, but the food, from chefs Michelle Ewan (who's also the owner) and Kevin Noccioli, is mostly very good. There are five pizzas here, including a simple Margherita, but rather than go baseline I tried something complicated—blobs of stracciatella, shredded Brussels sprouts, charred capocollo, "herbed salsa verde," and jalapeño—with happy results. The balance among the toppings was excellent, and the crust pleasantly crisp.

The best dish I ate was the Kurobuta Pork Milanese, a large fillet of tender, remarkably juicy meat that's first brined, then smoked, then covered in panko and cheese, deep fried, and laid across a luxurious bed of creamy, chewy swiss chard risotto. Any of these steps could have overwhelmed all the others, but it's handled with aplomb, strong evidence that they know what they're doing back there in the kitchen. Similarly, the freshly-made Pappardelle arrives almost completely submerged in a thick bolognese, and is also studded with big chunks of sausage and shiitake mushrooms, then capped with thick parmesan shavings. It's as rich as it sounds, but it works.

That was not the case with the Double Burger, unfortunately, in which all flavors are drowned in a blue cheese sauce. The accompanying fries were decent though, especially if you dig around for the burnt ones. There are surprisingly few salads and starters available (one of the latter is literally "bread," and another a $32 plate of oysters), but the sizzling pan of Mushrooms, enlivened with chili flakes and bottarga, was fun to pick at.

Though it's not the destination restaurant they're openly gunning to be—for one thing, the menu, however well executed, just isn't exciting enough to warrant a trip to the hinterlands—The Longshoreman is a solid, slightly pricey choice for Waterfront denizens and adventurers from a neighborhood or two over. Note that there are several Citi Bike docks within a few blocks of the place.

(Scott Lynch / Gothamist)

The Longshoreman is located at 215 Columbia Street between Union and Sackett Streets, and is open Tuesday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday until midnight, and Sunday from 5:30 to 10. Closed Monday. (929-295-0285; thelongshoremanbk.com)