Al Di Là
There’s a pleasant slow-and-steady calm that manages to pervade the low-key dining room of Park Slope’s no-reservations Al Di Là, despite the hordes of impatient, salivating prospective diners lining up on Fifth Avenue each night. But once you’ve tasted chef/owner Anna Klinger’s addictive, mouthwatering malfatti – a pillowy little set of dumplings made from fresh Swiss chard and homemade ricotta, draped in a rich, rustic sage-butter sauce that you will crave forever afterward.
Klinger and her husband, Italian-born Emiliano Coppa, do Northern Italian so well, you won’t think twice about hopping on a Brooklyn-bound R train, which Anita Lo, Anne Burrell, and Marco Moreira all say is totally worth taking the time to do. Go there for the fork-tender braised rabbit nestled in a cushion of soft polenta, the tortelli de fave (ravioli with marscapone and pecorino cheese, mint, and fava beans) or “for the tripe!” says Lo.
Tip: If you don’t feel like waiting the standard hour or so for a table, walk around the corner to their lovely little wine bar, Al Di Là Vino, where the menu is the same.