There are some places that lose their appeal, their quality, or their craftsmanship over the course of a lifetime. Al di la is not one of them. A charming Italian trattoria run by a husband and wife team (she’s the executive chef, he runs the front of house) have made a permanent home in Park Slope over the course of fifteen years.
Full disclosure, I don’t go out to eat Italian very frequently. My father’s gravy (red sauce), my mother’s meatballs, and my grandmother’s eggplant parm are irreplaceable in the world of Italian cooking, and all conjure a strong emotional response from me. It’s extremely challenging to commit to “ordering outside the family”. That being said, I would eat at al di la again, and again, and again – that’s how amazing it was.
So frequently a kale Caesar tends to lean heavily on one ingredient – the anchovy dressing, the lemon, the Parmesan cheese, the kale to dressing ratio. This blows every other Kale Caesar out of the water. Well balanced, generously dressed but not sopping. If this is the salad first course, I can’t wait to see what the pasta is like.
Ricotta Cavatelli with Pork Ragu
This was a special on the night I went to al di la, but you can find the same rich, meaty pork ragu paired with tagliatelle on the regular menu any night of the week. As if the ricotta cavatelli wasn’t enough all on its own, it was crowned with a halo of goat cheese for an additional layer of decadence. I never wanted it to end.
Spaghetti Nero all Chittara
Squid ink pasta is one of my favorite things, but it’s often very difficult to pull off. This was hands down one of the best I’ve ever had. Spicy and flavorful, thin strands of black spaghetti teemed with blistered tomatoes and chili peppers, smothered in an octopus’ confit. This dish was everything I wanted it to be and more.
Saltimbocca alla Romana
Another classic Italian specialty, this thinly pounded pork loin scaloppini is wrapped in prosciutto and garnished with sage leaves. Sautéed potatoes complete the picture (as if you hadn’t had enough carbs already) of this salty slab of pork heaven.
Service at al di la ties right into the overarching theme of this restaurant, which is success at every turn. Patient, kind, and genuinely excited about the menu, our server was outstanding. An approachable and affordable wine list makes you want to sit and graze for hours, nursing every last sip of wine until you melt into your seat. You can tell the undeniable success of al di la stems from the passion, integrity and dedication its owners have for their craft. It delivers over and over again.