Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at 3:20PM
Ask ten Park Slopers what the neighborhood's best restaurant is, and most likely seven or eight will tell you Al di Là, a rustic trattoria on Fifth Avenue and Carroll Street. It's cozy, authentic, romantic, not too expensive, and, most of all, delicious.
Since opening in 1998, Chef Anna Klinger and her husband Emiliano Coppa (who manages the front of house) have attracted a loyal following to their menu of northern Italian specialties that rarely, if ever, changes. Pastas include malfatti (ricotta and swiss chard gnocchi) in a brown butter and sage sauce, and a traditional tagliatelle al ragu (below), which has to be one of the most satisfying plates of pasta in all of Brooklyn. As a main course, sliced steak with arugula, braised rabbit with black olives and polenta, and whole young chicken with fennel salad and mashed potatoes are always good options.
|Tagliatelle al Ragu|
They recently started serving lunch every day except Tuesday, and a lazy afternoon is one of the best times to go. It's rarely crowded during this time, and the sun streaming in brightens up the space. The lunchtime menu includes salads and sandwiches (go for the pork belly), as well as most of the dinner menu's pasta dishes (the veal ravioli in a lemon butter sauce, below, is a standout).
Al di Là is one of those places that could easily rest on its laurels and let quality decline, as a crowd is basically guaranteed every night either way. It doesn't, though. Klinger constantly strives to deliver a flawless plate of food every time, and it's exactly that precision and consistency that cements its reputation as one of the best Italian restaurants in Brooklyn, if not the entire city.
|Veal Ravioli with Lemon Butter Sauce|
Al di Là Trattoria, 248 5th Avenue Brooklyn NY 11215. 718-783-4565.