159 Ave O
Brooklyn, NY 11204
Open in 1930, La Palina was originally located on Navy Street..
Fifty something years ago, they moved out here.
La Palina, it's Brooklyn to the bone and a wonderful place at that...
We had a terrific meal here last night, with the atmosphere almost as good as the Chicken Scarpariello... Which, for a vinegar addict like myself, i have never had a better version of.. I have made this version at home, i have had this dish at almost every restaurant where I have seen it.. This chicken scarp, was just perfect.. Had a little crunch on the outside with the skin but, still retained moist and juicy... Maybe the best technically braised chicken i have ever tasted... Lots of older restaurants served over cooked meat, which I assumed was the technique at the time due to safety issues.. Obviously a poor assumption.
So, i am guessing chicken pieces broiled, or baked super hot.. Pan is deglazed with vinegar, chicken stock, butter, and some thyme... Simple as that.. .
Sorry i started with the main entree.
So, the scene has that neighborhood feel.. People are regulars here. There are two types of customers, those we walk in and stand by the door waiting to be seated and those who walk in and go to their tables.. We waited to be seated... A table of perhaps 20 men in their 70's were sitting around a huge circular table.. Laughing, drinking, ordering huge plates of food.. It was great to see such a happy scene.. Actually, there were lots of tables of men, perhaps we were one of 3 couples in the restaurant of 15 other tables...
Our waiter, Joe Cuomo, who grew up in Coney Island and worked at Gargiulo's out there, said this was one of the last good Italian places in Brooklyn.. Gargiulo's being up there as well.. He was very much Brooklyn and very much a part of this restaurant. Through a gruff voice and heavy g for c Italian NY accent, he was incredibly friendly and welcoming.. Getting us tastes of wine, or bring out extra this or that.. He was a good liaison..
We look through the menu and were surprised at how well everything was priced.. Veal dishes being around 18.. But, pork and chicken dishes in the 14's.. It's shocking to me how it's shocking to me when I don't feel like i am paying to much..
Certain nights a week, they have a special which includes for $23 dollars, a choice of starter, entree, and dessert.. The starter includes fried "galamad", baked clams, ravioli, gnocchi pomodoro, or linguini with clams.. Miss A got the clams, i got the linguini was clams..
However, before we ordered from the special menu, a classic salad from the specials caught our attention... Green beans, "gannellini" beans, "patatahs", with some vinegar olive oil, olives and onions..
Dressing was incredibly well balanced.. Balanced to the point where you did not even see red droplets sitting in olive oil when the dish was finished.. green beans were cooked solidly but, not to the point of mush.. Simply, well done.
Out comes my pasta.. Thin noodles cooked perfectly.. The sauce was certainly good.. A literal bowl of clam and wine soup with a ton of noodles in it.. I ate the whole bowl..
Unfortunately, for A, she had less of a stellar experience.. However, I would just avoid the dishes she ordered in the future.. Her clams were over cooked and her veal was not particular good.. it was the sauce to blame! But, again, I am going to hope that her experience was exclusive to those dishes.. .
So the waiter brought out as sides, fried zucchini sticks and rice balls in a tomato sauce.. Tomato sauce is excellent.. You talk about red sauce Italian.. This was the type of sauce where you can sit and eat it with a fork..
Miss A had some dish, i forget the name.. It was maybe veal Sorrentino.. The marsala sauce was strange.. lots of flour in the sauce she thought.. the marsala tasted rather generic..
Talk about local ingredients.. The waiter through out the evening was telling me where things on the menu were from.. He mentioned where they bought the ravioli (down the street).. i didnt know the name of the purveyor and he was shocked? "You never heard of so and so ravioli?" he looked at me like i was from mars.. The cheesecake was from somewhere, the spumoni is normally from L&B.. "I know l&b" i said.
The ricotta cheesecake was very good.. The spumoni, which was not from L&B last night, was passable..
Meal came with coffee and the bottle of Sambuca on the table..
With a wealth of knowledge and a new list of places provided by joe, we were on our way..
This place has history, Miss A's grand parents use to come here while it was on Navy street.. I am sure it was great for her to feel the connection.. Though, i wish her meal was better.. There was certainly enough chicken to be shared and enough zuchinni fries to make her forget..
Really, really enjoyed this place and will be back to try more..
Will proofread later!
1 reply to this topic
Posted 24 February 2020 - 12:26 PM
Went last night. We had a good time. The chicken scarp was again very good. Butter chicken and vinegar. Clams were still average. We also ordered a huge plate only served Sunday. It’s called Nana sauce. Rolled pig skin, about 12 inches long, braciole, short rib and meatballs. With a side of rigatoni.huge liter carafe for 25 or 21 bucks. Decent. I’m not a huge red sauce and meat kind of guy but it was good. The pig skin shockingly being my favorite, the beef braciole was well seasoned and cooked. The kids ate a lot and I stuck to the chicken.
Ason, I keep planets in orbit.