Mod Williamsburg Italian restaurant Antica Pesa may have seemed a bit too upscale for the neighborhood when it opened on Berry Street almost four years ago in the old Planet Thai space. The ambiance was just a tad more glam than, say, the Brooklyn Ale House [RIP] down the block, and prices matched the vibe, with some entrees in the upper $20 range. Years later, Antica Pesa is still not cheap, but it now seems like a better fit with Williamsburg's North$ide of 2016, where a flood of flush newcomers have settled into those luxury waterfront condos a couple of blocks west.

On a recent Thursday night the place was bustling, and if you've got a few bucks to spend (or a rich Tinder date with a few bucks to spend) it can be a lovely experience. Run by gregarious Italian brothers from Rome, where the original Antica Pesa opened in 1922 (and is still in business today), the restaurant exudes authentic Italian sultriness, enhanced by a full bar, fireplace, translucent egg-shaped chandeliers, and cozy banquettes. The spring menu just launched, despite spring being a lie, and a press preview last week gave us a chance to try some of their new additions, such as the L'arzilla Sott'olio, an appetizer of skate fish cooked confit in chamomile and thyme oil. It's prepared with seasonal frisée spring onion, grated hard boiled egg, capers, and sun-dried tomato, and served with housemade fig and walnut bread, which provides a delectable foundation for the succulent skate.

The Branzino with sunflower and pumpkin seeds.

Also delicious: the Tortellini with porcini mushrooms and Bufala ricotta cheese; served with onion jus, potato and white wine sauce, and topped with crispy imported Parmigiano Reggiano crisps and a toasted hazelnut pesto. This is one of the best vegetarian pasta dishes I've had in a while; the description may make it sound too rich, but the ingredients are well-balanced and proportional. And if you have room for Secondi, consider the grilled Branzino in Crosta in a sunflower and pumpkin seed crust, served over a carrot and saffron puree with braised carrots, charred leeks and grilled asparagus. The crispy texture of that top crust is a harmonious counterpoint to the juicy fish.

There are quite a few solid Italian restaurants in Williamsburg, from red sauce institution Bamonte's to the more rustic-gourmet Aurora and PT, which are both favorites. Antica Pesa is a fancier addition to the scene, but it's fun, not formal, and the ebullient Italian brothers who run it are so hands-on entertaining they're practically their own floor show. Check out the menu below.

Antica Pesa // 115 Berry Street, Williamsburg // (347) 763-2635

Antica Pesa New Spring 2016 Menu