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I’m Mari.
On Marivelous Me! you’ll find recipes, food gifts, food I’ve traveled for and food solutions. Poke around, maybe you’ll find inspiration for something you’re working on. Enjoy! 


al di là - A Ragù Worth Travelling For

al di la tagliatelle al ragùal di la chandelierOne of the things I'm doing to prepare for my journey out West is to not only see my friends but to also revisit some of my favorite eats (A splendid combo!). Originally, when I thought about the places I want to revisit, the list wasn't that long but as the moving date gets closer, I realize there are a bunch of dishes I'd like to cram into my taste memory. Two of those dishes I'd like to hold onto are the Insalata di Farro and Tagliatelle al Ragù from al di là in Park Slope. 

al di la funghi e polentaal di la decorYears ago, my co-worker and friend, Barrie, was moving from New York back home to Austin so we decided to meet at the Venetian inspired restaurant, al di là (which translates to "beyond"), one of her favorite neighborhood restaurants. At this point in time, I could probably count the number of times I had visited Brooklyn - on one hand. It was a cold night and Mr. Mari and I were a little grumpy since we travelled a good 40 minutes by subway to get there, waited to be seated because the place was so crowded, and Barrie was no where to be seen. Barrie eventually showed up and we had a great time but before she arrived, Mr. Mari and I were forever changed; we had one of the most amazing dishes we had ever had: al di là's Tagliatelle al Ragù. Our mood shifted and lightened. We realized why there was such a wait and why they had the then-new communal, cheek-to-jowl type seating. For years to follow, we'd get on the R train, hover by the velvet curtains that stopped the winter air from rushing into the restaurant or have a glass of wine at al di là Vino - their second restaurant they opened right around the corner to accommodate the overflow, just to have this pasta. The dish is an orchestral masterpiece. Between the pasta's texture, the clinging yet slippery sauce accented with rosemary and studded with crumbled veal, beef and pork - it's delicious and never ever fails to please.

al di la farro salad insalataWhile we were living in Park Slope, al di là started lunch service. Hallelujah! We could get our ragù fix without the evening crush - woo hoo! Since we were able to get in much easier, we went a little more frequently, which allowed for more menu experimenting. We discovered the Insalata di Farro (farro with roasted beets, greens, toasted pistachios, goat cheese, red wine vinaigrette), Spaghetti alla Chitarra ("guitar" string cut pasta), Funghi e Polenta (sautéed wild mushrooms over greens and buttery, Parmesan-y polenta), braised rabbit and ordered some of the specials like Zuppa di Vongole and spaghetti with lamb ragù.

al di la sarahSo for my departure, it seemed wholly fitting to revisit al di là, this time with another old co-worker and friend, Sarah, who happens to live in the neighborhood. This time however, there was no room for experimenting, I needed to order the ragù and luckily, Sarah wanted to order the farro salad. I'm hoping to hold the flavors and textures in my mind for at least a year because although it's worth it, it's going to be a much longer trip to take for the ragù. 

(Images, from the top! Tagliatelle al ragù; Venetian glass chandelier; Funghi e Polenta; eclectic décor; Insalata di Farro; sweet Sarah)

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