a di la
Tried Al di la twice this month and both times, food and
service were excellent. First time i asked a wine
recommendation to the waiter and he advised us to try
the cheapest red wine ($16)--which was excellent. I
really appreciated that.
Second time was last saturday. four of us went around
7:45 and the place was packed. but the host-owner(?)
said to come back later: A party of 6 had put their name
down for 8:30 and he suspected they were not coming
back. we came back at 8:30 and the host said with the
sweetest italian accent: it's 8:33, they are late. you
can sit down now.
we had perfectly grilled plumped sardines + aragula
salad, excellent malfatti drowned in brown butter,
honest proscuitto and melon and a regular green salad.
For entrees, we ordered the hanger steak (OK), the salt-
baked fish (very impressive presentation at the table
before they bring it back to the kitchen to be filleted
(?), and a scrumptious pan-fried pork tenderloin with
sage, plus another order of the now-famous malfatti.
We also had 2 bottles of the cheap but good italian wine
and the total was around $35 each with tip. Service was
professional, the food was excellent and altogether it
was a quite pleasant experience.
re: joyce B
I agree that the pasta dishes are a bit expensive and
the portions small, but the meat entrees are more
generous. I assume the pasta portions are small because
they're supposed to be another course, not your entree.
Then again, I don't mind paying that kind of money for
something like the wonderful beet ravioli.
The plum crisp I had was absolutely incredible.
re: Lisa R.
We've been twice. There's now a wait if you
show up 7-8:30. The place has a very high, steel (aka tin) ceiling and the rest is fixed up.
For the time being, you can bring your own bottle (wine, that is), and there' no corking fee. Staff was
very nice and knew the food
(they were very nice about our teething infant). Service was speedy and well-timed (perhaps a little
Menu is classic Italian (northern, I guess). We've had
garlic soup, fresh sardines, the steak, and the rabbit.
We liked them all, although they rely on butter
(especially in the polenta), and oil quite a lot. Terrific strong food. They have refreshingly resisted the temptation to get fussy. The desert
menu is not so Italian. The poached pear
was just the ticket.
The bread was refilled without asking (I don't approve, although I appreciated it). The bus staff were attentive and pleasant (refilled water, and politely enthusiastic about removing plates.
The crowd is typical Park Slope, with some imports.
I recommend it, especially while you don't have to pay $20 for a lousy bottle of wine.
re: Rudd Susanna
Al di la, reviewed by Eric Asimov in wednesday's Times
is an authentic rustic Northern Italian trattoria which
focuses but does not limit itself to the regional
cuisine of Veneto. Asimov's review correctly described
the food as "soulful and gutsy" including richly
braised rabbit with the best polenta i've ever
tasted,(not at all too buttery),and wonderful steamed
pork shoulder with wisps of horseradish that put the
dish over the top. (for some reason , Asimov didn't get
this)Also for desert try the latte bruciatto(translates
as burnt milk)it is an Italian version of caramel
custard served with a perfect little cornmeal cookie.
I also tried for an appetizer grilled fresh sardines
with a fennel vinaigrette which also tasted of orange
and rosemary, great with the charred oily fish, on abed
of arugala. They did not have this when I went back
however, so I had the garlic soup which is rich, silky,
and sublime accented with sage.nothing sucked and it's
re: xavier pine
<Question: Does anybody have a recipe for the sublime
latte brullata? I found one in Pelligrini Artusi, but
was hoping for one that was a bit more current and
I don't know what translation of Artusi you are using,
but the dish is really nothing more than creme caramel
(latte alla portoghese or, less properly, flan, in
Italian) made with extremely caramelized sugar (just
about burned) mixed in. The recipe in Artusi (minus
testing with a broom straw) is still made today. Home
cooks in Italy these days are likely, however, to
resort to a packaged mix for the custard.
Howard M. Isaacs
The Italian Traveler
re: xavier pine
I ate there last Friday night, and I give it a big old
thumbs up. I, too, had the grilled sardines, and they
were excellent, with lots of arugula supplied. I also
had the braised rabbit with very creamy polenta. Yum
yum. It was a generous portion, and very delicious.
My friend's beet ravioli were beautiful and tasty. And
they give you a big heaping bowl of oil-cured olives
first. The service was extremely nice, too.
re: Lisa R.
Finally made it to Al Di La and have to agree with the
consensus: the food is terrific. We not only had the
rabbit and sardiness with arugula, that were
recommended here, but a mussels appetizer (superb) and
a lamb chop special, all extremely tasty. I've never
been to Cocina or Aunt Suzie's, but somehow I'm happy
I chose to try Al Di La first.
re: Dave Feldman
glad you enjoyed it cause I didn`t. Nice enough room, had a baccala app that was o.k friend had pros. app. 4 paper thin slices of pros. and a wide ribbon of some type of fried pastry. hardly appettizing just not enough. then 2 pastas friend had linguini and clamswhichwas good but half a portion for 14.00$ I had spaghetti botarga which for some reason was fried instead of just grated on top which killedthe taste. again 13.50 for thier idea of a full order. small portions of pasta for 14 16 18 $ make no sense to me, I dont need a huge portion but for a main course I shouldnt still feel hungry.
Are you sure we are talking about the same
restaurant. The rabbit, for example, cost $13 and I
believe there were no pastas priced above the low
teens. The lamb chop special was understandably more
expensive. The huge bucket of mussels cost under
$10. The bill for three of us, with an entree and
appetizer each, drinks but no dessert, was $30 apiece
including tax and a more than 20% tip.