Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Dine in Brooklyn: Brunch at Al Di La & The Chocolate Room

Everyone, say hi to Heather and Harry! 

You can say hi to Jean and Thanan too, though Thanan has seen nicer days, and Jean always has her cheeks full.


They were nice enough to come all the way down to Park Slope on an early Sunday morning (~12p) to help polish off some of this warm (!) crusty bread (and check out Al Di La for this year's Dine in Brooklyn restaurant week).  After chowing down the initial loaf, the server was quick to arrive back at our table with a second one.  I love that pre-emptive thinking.

Harry stuck to the original plan of eating from the Dine in Brooklyn menu, but the rest of us fell for everything else on their menu, including classic lunch pasta favorites and brunch offerings.

Harry's white salad from the DiB menu is shown below, living up to its stark name.  Plenty of radish slivers to add bite to the dish.

Harry's entree options included winter squash ravioli in a brown butter sage sauce and braised chicken with black olives and polenta.  He opted for the latter, and it looked so comforting and wonderful, especially on top of that creamy bed of golden polenta.

Heather and Thanan ordered the duck confit, with lots of roasted brussel sprouts, deliciously tender potato chunks and crispy duck skin.  

Jean ordered the spaghetti chitarra, with cauliflower, anchovy and breadcrumbs.  She permitted me a generous bite that I enjoyed.  This was my original breakfast choice until my eyes spotted a tremendous looking dish at a nearby table.

The crispy polenta cake !

An amazingly thick slab of seared polenta layered with a fresh, crushed tomato sauce, wilted spinach, poached eggs and lovely strips of crispy bacon.

This dish was quite good, a fantastic multi-layered combination of differing textures and tastes, but the polenta cake was a particularly devilish beast that swiftly kicked my stomach into submission.  I couldn't finish this monster for the life of me.

Harry's dessert choices included panna cotta or rice pudding.  His decision for the rice pudding was a sound one.  It was light, creamy, and not too sweet.  A perfect palate cleanser for our next stop, The Chocolate Room!

Adorable little almond cookies that were served with the rice pudding.
A visit to Brooklyn does not seem complete of late without a visit to The Chocolate Room.  I know.  I have come here far too many times, my friends, but I simply cannot resist!  And I was especially glad we did, as H&H ordered the gorgeous banana split served with bruleed bananas (one of my top favorite loves of life).

I ordered the brownie sundae yet again.  The brownie was a touch drier this time, but it wasn't anything another helpful spoonful (or a small bowl) of thick, hot fudge couldn't easily fix.

Weekends in Brooklyn.  Always a delight!

248 5th Ave
Brooklyn, NY
Al di Là Trattoria on Urbanspoon

86 5th Ave
Brooklyn, NY
The Chocolate Room on Urbanspoon


  1. Can you believe I've never been to the Chocolate Room in all of my years in Brooklyn? I tried to go once when I lived in Park Slope five years ago, but it was closed, and I guess that left me broken-hearted enough to never go back. That banana split, though!

  2. that waterfall of egg yolk is beautiful! :)