Dinner w/ parents In Park Slope/Prospect Heights Area
I wanted to take my parents out in the 'hood this Friday, but I know that probably my two picks (Franny's or Al Di La) will be packed. What other good options are there. Is Flatbush Farm any good? Applewood?
I don't know Park Slope very well but I was recently at Flatbush Farm, which I don't recommend for a dinner with one's folks. It's like a cruel parody of Williamsburg, with gorgeous, way overstyled waitstaff who don't do their job terribly well. Food is not bad, but the meats and produce that they get (which are very good), they recycle all over the place, so you end up with the same ingredients popping up in starters and entrees, and it seems like they're trying to spread themselves too thin. It's more of a drunken-dinner-with-friends ambiance, I think.
My in-laws loved Stone Park. If it's just the three of you, you could try Canille the French place on Fifth Avenue. Applewood is good, I'd pass on Flatbush Farm, it's not a great fit for parents.
If you want to go to Al Di La, you will need to get there early and eat during the first seating if you don't want to wait too long. My other Park Slope favorites are: Applewood (make sure you make a reservation), Stone Park Cafe, Canaille, AOC Bistro, Anthony's, Little D and Bar Tono. I have also heard great things about Rose Water.
I would like to second the recommendation for two parent-approved restaurants that have been named:
Garden Cafe and Osteria Convivium
I would guess that my mother preferred Garden Cafe and my father liked them both equally. In any case, they were highly satisfied each place. I remember with Convivium, we had gone to a trendy popular Manhattan place the night before, and everyone agreed Convivium was hands down the better experience. Both places take reservations, so you should call as soon as you can.
I have been to other restaurants in the area like Al Di La, but they are crowded and I will stick my neck out and say overrated as well. Next time my parents visit we are going to stick with Garden Cafe or Convivium.
For brunch consider Gen on St. Marks and Washington, especially on Sundays when the chef/owner works. You and your parents would have to like Japanese to like Gen, but if you do, the chef's teishoku (set menu) brunch is top notch. Recently I took an aunt and uncle plus a gaggle of cousins to Gen and we all had a great time.
If your parents are willing to wait a bit after putting your name on the list at either Franny's or Al di La then these two would still be my picks (although I love Convivium and Applewood as well). Al di La has the wine bar where you can wait for your table or go to another nearby bar. I recently did Franny's with a group of four on a saturday and we gave them our names, went to Flatbush Farm for a drink (don't go for dinner!) and we got the call that our table was ready as soon as we finished one drink. Its a good option.