01 December 2008

al di la!

 I can't tell you how many times I've walked by al di la, heard people talk about the divine experience or considered going in myself- and this evening: I made it happen.  Consistently packed, you feel confident walking through the doors. Taking stock of the sheer abundance of patrons, you simply hope for a table. The walls are peeling with home, the air with a warm savory scent of garlic.  We started with the Mussels Appetizer, which is complimented with white wine and  chopped tomatoes. The first few bites were divine and seemed to go down hill afterwords. Fishier and fishier, until at last we had nothing else to do but leave a pile on top of the soaking bread.

The next consideration: main course. Although I had my heart set on the Swiss Chard Gnocchi with Browned Butter, I opted for the special: Homemade Potato Gnocchi with pork sausage, roasted tomato and a dallop of creamy goat cheese. Hello love. Each bite melted in my mouth, and begged me to take it slow. Even as the plate cooled, the pleasure remained consistent. My dining partner selected the Pan Roasted Pork Cutlet on a bed of mashers and braised greens.  A good dish,  but seemed a bit on the fatty side- and the potatoes were more comparable to soup.

The finally was a bit troubling. The server neglected to bring me my single espresso, but brought several glasses of dessert wine (with which I was not interested in). A food runner brought us somebody else's gelato, then eventually the Pear Cake with Chocolate Chunks.  The dish could have been defrosted from a box at the grocery store!  Might I suggest going to the buzzing dining room for a glass of wine, the gnocchi and moving on? Dessert and espresso are better expressed elsewhere.

Image: On the Inside

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