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Brief Return to Park Slope--WIll You Comment on My Old Faves?

I apologize if you read these same questions on my post to the Manhattan board [before I amended it today, July 24, to avoid redundancy]: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

But I wanted to ask for your comments/suggestions/updates on the status of some of my old favorites in Brooklyn and the Slope.

* Grimaldi’s. I’m planning a late lunch to avoid the lines, for old time’s sake. I read about their customer-service issues, but I'm still leaning towards going for it.

* Blue Ribbon Brooklyn. I’m avoiding their sushi place after reading bad things about it here. Please tell me that BR's fried chicken is still good.

* Al di Là or Tempo. Can you recommend new pasta dishes? Has service or quality gone downhill at either place? I moved away almost a year ago, so I’d appreciate any updates.

* Taro Sushi in the Slope. I understand from a previous post that it's best on a Friday or Saturday night.

* Anything new that I shouldn't miss?

I plan to hit Blue Apron for packaged fine foods, cured meats, and cheeses. Does anyone have recommendations on new items or old standards that will keep well? I need to take advantage of this opportunity since similar offerings in Texas are quite poor.

I'd greatly appreciate any feedback you could give me.


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  1. stone park on 5th ave is pretty fabulous. great room, nice staff, and terrific food.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ary

      Stone park is Great for Sunday Brunch! But I've also discovered the Black Pearl Brunch with unlimited Bloodys or Mimosas.

    2. These may not be new but rosewater, al di la, convivium, although it may be slipping and applewood are my picks.

      4 Replies
      1. re: josh L

        Josh, what's your comment on Convivium?

        1. re: jen kalb

          the last two dinners I've had, while still pretty good have been sloppy. The sardines were dried out and a bit off, and I had a poached fish dish was places over veggies, which were not properly prepared. I also split a steak with my dad, ordered rare and was sent out way over done. I've found the food to be much more consistent at Al di La lately. The owners of Convivium need to get back in the kitchen.

          1. re: josh L

            I hope they are reading along...

            1. re: jen kalb

              I too had some really foul sardines at Convivium.

      2. some input-

        -Grimaldi's is Grimaldi's. Not bad, but you could certainly do better at Di Fara's

        -Thankfully, al di la is the same. Same great waiters, same great menu, same great prices (and same lines). Let's hope is stays that way. My fave app- tripe (or baccala); pasta- beet ravioli; entree- rabbit.

        -I don't know how Taro differs from weeknights to weekends, but if you do go on a weekend, don't go too early. It seems like Sano (the head chef/owner) starts a little later.

        There certainly have been a ton of new places that have opened, but you can't go wrong with Taro, al di la, and Blue Ribbon.

        1. Al di La and Tempo are both great. I can't choose between the two except to say that Al Di La will be more crowded and the tables are a lot closer together (actually they they'll turn a table for six [2x3] into three tables for two). It will also be more noisy. But the food is still great. Also Tempo will take reservations.

          1. I'm not a Blue Apron fan. Most of the meats and cheeses are pretty mild and standard fare. I do like International Taste on 150 7th Avenue by Garfield. They don't have Ehmer hot dogs or some of the deli that Apron has but what they lack in some variety they make up for in quality, such as the Lebanese and Spanish cheeses, the strong sheep, goat and regular bries, the salamis and hams, etc.

            1. As others confirm, al di la remains exactly as it was, Taro is great and a relative deal. Blue Ribbon Sushi is pretty spectacular, but pricier.

              Stone Park is my new rave, based on a pork tagiatelli side dish of pasta I had there. OUTSTANDING! They have a way with pork products, and a pretty perfect brunch that includes bluefish cakes, and sausage biscuits with collards that rock.

              Red Hook got a Fairway grocery store since you moved, and they have a massive selection of grocery and deli items. And don't forget Sahadi's on Atlantic Ave.

              Enjoy your visit!

              1 Reply
              1. re: pitu

                I second your raving about the pork tagliatelli side at Stone House. Intense rich flavor with perfectly done pasta.

              2. don't go to Blue Ribbon, it's good but go to Applewood instead.
                al di la is a must, and I think Grimaldi's is still great, it is what it is.
                But you can't really get it in TX.
                welcome back to BK!

                1. Here's my two cents:

                  --Skip Grimaldi's. I was there a month ago. Service sucked. Pizza was nothing special. DiFara's would be my choice.

                  --Don't rule out a visit to the fantastic Al Di La just because of the lines and no reservations policy. You have two options: one would be to show up at or before 6 PM. The other is to dine in the wine bar next door. Same menu.

                  --I second the emotion concerning Stone Park. They do accept reservations and will actively shoo away walk-ins, even if the place is empty (hard to believe, but I've seen it twice recently). If you plan last minute and can't score a table by phone, you can get served the same menu sitting at the bar and the bartenders are quite agreeable folks there. If you're a wine lover, order the Priorat "Les Terrasses" from Spain: a fantastic bottle of wine at $45..and you won't find many Priorats on NYC wine lists (yet).

                  --Ditto for Applewood, as far as securing a table is concerned: they tend to book up far in advance, but bar seating is a very agreeable alternative.

                  --I've got to put in a vote for Restaurant Sorrel, located on Carlton at St. Johns...steps across Flatbush from Park Slope.
                  Prix fixe $25 menu, organic and small producer wines, agreeable staff. Ex-360.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: famdoc

                    just one correction - Sorrell is at Carlton Ave. and St. Marks Avenue.

                  2. Not sure if the menu has changed since you were last in town, but if you do go to Tempo, definitely try the bucatini with sicilian pistachio nut pesto.

                    1. Thanks Brooklyn 'hounds! You’ve reminded me about places that I’d either forgotten about (Stone Park) or wanted to try but never did (Applewood).

                      Based on your recommendations, I’m adding to my list: Stone Park (for the suggested Priorat wine and maybe the brunch offerings), Applewood, and Restaurant Sorrel—which is very close to a friend’s house. I appreciate the heads-up about reservations or just sitting at the bar at the first two. I’ll definitely make time for both Tempo (for the bucatini, the cheese assortment, and the sticky-toffee dessert) and Al di Là (the pastas, the rabbit). I just can’t decide between them. Taro Sushi is still on. And I know some of you may think I’m crazy, but I have to go to Grimaldi’s. Even if it’s gone downhill, it will still be sublime compared to what I’ve been eating in Texas. But I’ll add a visit to Di Fara, too. [And I’m already planning on visiting Una Pizza Napoletana in Manhattan, despite mixed reviews on that board.] If I have time, I may stop by Blue Ribbon--but just for the fried chicken.

                      I used to love those small bags of chocolate-drizzled popcorn from Blue Apron, and it was great to have a local source for Sullivan Street’s bread, but I’d blocked out the sad state of some of their cured meats. I’m going to make a point of going by Sahadi’s in addition to Di Palo and Salumeria Biellese in Manhattan, where I’ll stock up on the things I can’t get here.

                      I never posted when I was living in the Slope, but lurking helped me find some great chow. I’ll report back on my visit. Or maybe since there’s been some Site Talk against numerous “thank you” posts, I should use the “edit” function to add on to this message. Just in case, I’ll sign off the way congresspeople do: Unanimous consent to revise and extend.