248 5th Ave, Brooklyn 11215
At Carroll St
We finally made it to Al Di La! Considering how often it is mentioned, particularly in Park Slope foodie-lore, this was one restaurant we needed to check out. Famous for not taking reservations and ages waiting around, we'd decided against it multiple times in the past. This time we decided to go for it. There was an hour and 20 min wait even at 6pm on a Saturday (!), so we put our name in and took a walk, went to Union Hall for a drink (at least Al Di La calls your cell when your table is ready.) Al Di La also has a wine bar around the corner that you can wait in, so after Union Hall we headed there for a glass of Malbec which was very nice. A loud, somewhat cramped space at the wine bar, plus a small dining area too (wasn't sure if the menu there was the same). Eventually it was time, and they brought our wine glasses through to the restaurant since we were still mid-glass, while we walked around the corner outside and back into the restaurant, past the dark, velvet curtain into the loud dining room.
The vibe in the room was convivial and warm, though not as much character as rival Convivium Osteria in my opinion. Seats clustered together, lots going on given the popularity of the place. We waited a bit for our waiter but he was friendly and apologetic. I started with Casumzieei, which was ravioli with beets, ricotta, and poppy seeds, tossed in butter. It was simple, fresh, and richly satisfying. I never would have imagined ravioli with beets being so tasty. Hubby had carpaccio that he enjoyed, topped with capers, anchovies and parmesan.
For the main course I chose the hanger steak, which was tender and moist, served with arugula. It was very nice, though hubby’s pork stole the show—Saltimbocca alla Romana, with prosciutto and really nice golden potatoes. Pounded thin and tasty. For dessert a very memorable treat—vanilla ice cream and “almond prailine” (yum), “drowned” in espresso—different, and great mixture of flavors.
Overall very glad we went, and probably slightly better value than Convivium Osteria (I realize the food is slightly different there but the two do seem very comparable.). It was a nice date night, but may choose other options in the future instead of repeating the long wait. Recommended though!Blogsoop reviews