Published August 2013 on NewYork.com
This Venetian trattoria is a labor of love for chef Anna Klinger and her partner Emiliano Coppa, who met while traveling in Italy and opened Al Di La in Park Slope in 1998. The intimate dining room is reminiscent of a palazzo parlor, with a chandelier hanging from the pressed-tin ceiling, bentwood café chairs pulled up to snuggly spaced tables and vintage wallpaper. It’s frequented by Brooklyn couples, young and old, as well as small groups of family and friends. The northern Italian menu emphasizes classic recipes and local, organic ingredients, such as mussels with white wine and chili, beef carpaccio, homemade ravioli filled with roasted squash and mascarpone, and pork loin scallopine with sage and prosciutto. The wine list is all-Italian. Al Di La also does a weekday lunch and a fantastic weekend brunch that includes specialties like uova affogate (eggs baked in tangy tomato sauce with Fontina and Parmesan cheese). Reservations are only for parties of six or more; weeknights or early evening on Saturdays and Sundays are the best times to avoid the crowd (and a lengthy wait).