Al di La, November 9, 2007

Al di La

Doug and I went out to Brooklyn on Friday night for two reasons, the first to support my friend Jeff's business and/or clients, two of whom were having a gig at Southpaw, and secondly, to check out Al di La, a restaurant that has been on my To Do list for two years.

I dropped Doug off in front so that we could get a table or get on line, as this place is known to fill up fast. I finally found parking a block away (after circling several blocks) and entered to see Doug sitting down with menus at the ready. A very good sign, as there were about four groups of people coming in behind me.

Al di La is a perfectly charming restaurant on a nice street in Park Slope and despite the constant action inside, the staff is very cordial. It took awhile for them to get back to us to take our order, but the food made it to our table in good time and the space between courses was also respectable. Here's what we had:

Doug ordered the pasta special...which was a dry (not fresh) pasta with shredded pork shoulder. Cooked to perfection, this dish was a winner and is a good example of why the restaurant has been compared to places like Babbo. Everything about it was "good". Might not have "super incredible" but exactly what our expectations could be for it. Solid.

I ordered the ricotta gnocchi in sage and brown butter sauce. This was luscious and similar to the gnudi you can get at the Spotted Pig. Very tasty, but I would give the Spotted Pig the edge if I had to compare.
Doug ordered the fish special which was hake served with carrots and lentils. Very solid dish. I ordered the quail special, a slightly hefty sized quail filled with mushrooms and served atop a delicious starch. Solid dish overall.
We didn't have time to order dessert, and sadly I don't recall the exact name of the bottle of Barbera D'Alba we ordered, but it was solid (nice, inexpensive wine list!).
I'd like to throw some props out to two bands: Care Bears on Fire - who were incredible regardless of their age (11 years old) and Mink who also put on a fun show, even including the little kids on stage toward the end of their set. They were truly good sports and made some kids' nights. Good times.


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