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Getting a table at Al-Di-La

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Hi there,

So my husband and I went out on Saturday and tried to get into Al-Di-La...the wait as many of you will not be surprised was 2 hours. Could you tell me what would be a good night to go and at what time if we want a shorter wait? I really want to try their food after reading the article in Edible Brooklyn.

Thanks!

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  1. I've only been once myself, but my friend and I showed up on a Saturday night at 5:20 pm (10 minutes before they opened), were about 15th or so in line, and got a table easily. Note that the line grew rapidly even as we stood there waiting! BTW it is well worth any extra effort...I left agreeing with all the raves I've read. Good luck!

    1. i live a block away and dont find it too bad. ive been told 2 hours at 8pm on a saturday and went to the wine bar, had a bottle of priorat and the cheese plate with my girlfriend and an hour later, our table was ready.

      on most weeknights, ive never had more than a 15 minute wait.

      yes, the food is excellent. if you dont get the malfati pasta dish, i will be upset.

      1. I've stayed away on weekends, but weekdays generally aren't a problem. Also, if you're a couple or a group of up to 4, it's best to eat in the wine bar. The decor isn't as nice/funky, but the seating arrangement is far more comfortable and the food is just as unbelievably delicious.

        1. One of the best things about Al di la is that you can really make a night of it. Put your name in, go to the wine bar next door, try a couple interesting glasses, pick out a bottle for dinner, munch on some bread, hang out and talk. You'll be seated before you know it, and you're already having a great time.

          1. Thanks to all for the responses! Looking forward to a great meal there.

            1. for the record, i went at 7 and they said it would be a 1 1/2 hour wait for 4. they called my cell after 40 minutes.

              dinner was excellent as usual but i need a break from the place. ive been there about 6 times in 2 months.

              1. second the suggestion for the wine bar. you can also get their full menu here, without a long wait.

                2 Replies
                1. re: flo

                  Well we tried this strategy last night and it failed miserably. We had friends drive in from NJ just to go to Al di La, and it was a huge disappointment. Got there at 6:45 figuring that they'd tell us 8 or 8:30 and we'd go to the wine bar and have a relaxing drink, and some appetizers, and wait. Nope---we were told 9:30! That's almost three hours! I asked if it would really be that long, and was told yes--there are 50 names in front of you, and 50 seated, so it would be one full turn-over before they were up to us. We put our names down nonetheless, hoping against hope. Went to the wine bar and it was packed--not even a place to put a glass down. Was told that the wait for a table there would also be at least two hours. There really wasn't even any place to comfortably stand.

                  Gave up and went to Tempo, were seated immediately and had an excellent meal.

                  I was truly disappointed because we wanted to bring our friends to Al di La, and we'd not been there ourselves in about six months. And, we'd just recently been to Tempo and didn't really feel like eating there again. But I fear Al di la has truly become unmanageable, at least on weekends. And I was really craving the malfatti :-( Perhaps we'll try a weeknight soon.

                  1. re: jinx

                    My husband and I *love, love, love* Al Di La and have one simple strategy. We get there before they open and stand in line! There are variables involved with this method--weather, night, etc. When it was really cold out we were pretty safe in arriving at 6:00. On nicer nights, it pays to get there at around 5:45. That said, we have never even attempted a Saturday night but I think that arriving pre-opening is your best bet. They will not seat you if your party is incomplete either.

                2. I happen to have dined at Al di La this past Saturday evening. We (party of 2) arrived at 5.30, and were seated at 5:30. The place was mostly empty when we arrived, and by 5:50 it was full!

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: laurabee

                    yeah, I think next time we try we will arrive when it opens. And if we miss the first seating at least we'd be in on the second seating. But I thought they open at 6? That's what the website says. Do they really open at 5:30?

                    1. re: jinx

                      Yup, and the sign on their door says 5.30 as well. Don't tell anyone! :)

                      1. re: laurabee

                        On Friday nights they open at 6. I've watched them do it 7 or 8 times.

                    2. re: laurabee

                      My wife and I went for our anniversary last Wednesday night. I walked up at about 6:45 and the place was wide open! I was shocked. My wife was late (as usual) and they wouldn't seat me without her, so I waited for the dreaded line to form but it didn't happen! She arrived at about 7:10 and we were still able to waltz in. Once we were seated, though, the place really started to heat up.

                    3. If you give them your cell number they will call you when your table is ready. This way you can go for a walk or go to any other bar in the hood while you wait. Their wine bar is OK - not a great wine bar on it's own because it was created as a place for you to wait.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Gnu23

                        I live 3 blocks away, so would never normally dream of going there on a weekend, but I can promise you weekdays are never (in my experience) an issue. We actually prefer eating late (we work late), and often find that showing up at A.di L at 9:00 or afterwards allows us to have a semi-romantic dinner in that we don't have people elbow to elbow at the next table. The only draw back is that they may be out of a couple of items by that time, but generally there are enough things we want to try that it's OK.

                        1. re: Elaine Snutteplutten

                          after 9:00 PM on a weekend has never been a problem for me. waiting at the bar is lovely. i can honestly say that a thread on how to get a table at Al Di La is pretty shocking, as i don't consider it all that difficult a task. there are more difficult restaurants in the Slope to get a table at (still haven't eaten at Palo Santo....)

                          1. re: Elaine Snutteplutten

                            I would never even think to eat at Al di la on a Saturday night considering it's one of the most popular restaurants in Brooklyn. In fact, I'd guess that it may be the top restaurant in Brooklyn that doesn't take reservations. Nothing else really comes to mind...

                        2. DON'T GO ON A TUESDAY! They're closed.