Park Slope Saturday lunch
Looking for a spot for lunch Thanksgiving weekend to introduce relatives to Brooklyn. One of them will be on crutches and all are considering a trip to Brooklyn an adventure. Ideally, it should be a place that will take reservations,with nearby parking and pleasant ambiance, any type cuisine, moderate to upscale. Thanks for all suggestions.
The "nearby parking" piece is the difficult one. Weekends, esp. holiday weekends, the Park Slope parking situation gets slightly easier, but there are never any guarantees. If one of the members of your party is on crutches, you may need to drop them off and then circle and park.
With that caveat, I'd suggest Juventino (5th ave. between 5th and 6th st) as an upscale option: very pleasant atmosphere, delicious food (which I'd describe as "new American" with strong Mexican influences). The brunch menu includes both breakfasty and lunchy (their terms) options.
There and Al di La would be my top two picks for a restaurant to showcase Park Slope to out-of-town visitors.
Al di La would be great, but they only take reservations for groups of 6 or more - but maybe if you called them and explained that someone will be on crutches, they might grant you a "sympathy reservation".
Stone Park Cafe might be perfect - they take reservations, and the weekend lunch menu has a wide range of options, both brunchy and lunchy. It's at 5th Ave and 3rd St., upscale but not too expensive - a relatively conservative way to ease people into Brooklyn if they're skeptical, but without being boring or staid.
Also, I don't want to be that person, but a reminder of the potential problems with Juventino (don't know how this was resolved, if at all, but just wanted to point it out):
I would second Stone Park Cafe, but if you can't get a reservation, you might want to try some no-reservation spots like Rosewater or Franny's.
I'll also throw Piccoli in the mix, because they have the best risotto around. And might be easier to find parking since it's off the main streets on 6th Ave.
I'll second the Stone Park and Al Di La suggestions and add a couple of others. A more casual option would be Bar Toto, a pleasant bistro with plenty of crowd pleasing options, brunchy and otherwise. (I especially recommend the paninis.) Moving upmarket, there's Applewood which serves well made new American dishes.
It's a holiday weekend - you'll need to move fast to get a reservation at most of these places. (Bar Toto is probably the easiest.)
In addition to the fine suggestions so far, let me add Bogota, a Latin American restaurant on Fifth Avenue, near St. John's Place. The food at Bogota is good all around, and some dishes are outstanding. (Try the tortilla soup for a real treat. It's a full and fulfilling meal in itself.) The problem you'll have with Bogota is parking, but that's probably gonna be true anywhere you go in the Slope.
I'll also second Dinosaur BBQ for two reasons: (a) it's spacious and comfortable, whether you sit at a table or at the bar, and (b) it's on Union, on the east side of Fourth Avenue, where you may have a better shot at parking nearby. (It would help if everyone in your party likes BBQ.)
Both Bogota and Dino BBQ are on Open Table, so if you decide on either (or both, if you have the time), you can make your reservations now.
Re Stone Park (which I quite like): I checked Open Table for Stone Park, but it says that SP doesn't have any reservations available for either Saturday or Sunday within 2.5 hours of 1:00 PM. SP does a terrific brunch business on weekends, so it may be that they just don't allow Open Table reservations during weekend brunch times. You could call them to discuss.
I hope your relatives enjoy their Brooklyn adventure. (If Park Slope weren't a requirement I would have suggested the Waterfront Ale House on Atlantic Avenue. It's a watering hole where the native Brooklyn denizens gather to eat and drink. Other than your relatives you probably won't find anyone in there who isn't from Brooklyn. The popcorn is free and the food ranges from good to better than good.)