Buon Appetito: 14 of NYC's Most Romantic Italian Restaurants
by Julie Besonen, 02/06/2013
Photo: Joe Buglewicz
Al di Là
248 Fifth Ave., 718-783-4565, Park Slope, Brooklyn
Don't let the hour wait at this spirited, Northern Italian trattoria daunt you. Put in your name (the spot doesn't take reservations) and stroll arm in arm around this pretty part of Park Slope—or sip a glass of vino in the adjacent wine bar—until your table is ready. Brooklynites rightfully take local pride in Al di Là, which has become a magnet for food lovers from all over the globe who've heard about the gutsy cooking coming out of Anna Klinger's kitchen. She and her husband, Emiliano Coppa, have pretty much stuck to the same formula since they opened the restaurant in 1998, never upgrading from mismatched chairs and china and keeping buttery, see-through ravioli filled with red beets and ricotta and braised rabbit with black olives and creamy polenta as menu mainstays. A tall glass of chocolate ice cream with hazelnuts and whipped cream is a blissful finish to the evening.