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Restaurants & Bars 12

Tempo again

Steve R. | Jan 15, 2006 05:31 PM

We find ourselves eating in Park Slope more often now. Anyone reading these boards knows that we eat out a lot at all levels, but the additions to the Slope at the high end of the spectrum keep us driving there regularly. No longer are our local Henry's End, Queen, Chestnut & Noodle Pudding our only "go to" places (we're not fond of The Grocery or Saul's). Now we drive pretty regularly to Al di La and Tempo, and with a recent great meal at Applewood, we'll probably add them to our rotation as well. And tonite we go with some friends back to Convivium; if previous meals there are any indication, this might be another.

But, never mind all that. This is about last night's meal at Tempo. Our best ever. I dont know if we just caught an exceptional night (this place is one of our favorites anyway) or if it's still getting better, but the food was great!

We had good mixed drinks at the bar first (@$10), then sat down in the full "big room" for dinner. Everyone there seemed very happy. We ordered the duck roll ($9) and a "Sat. only" app. of mozz. that is brought in from Italy freshly made there only 2days prior ($10). The duck roll is very good but the soft runny mozz is unbelievable. Served with an olive/caper tapenade and crispy pancetta, I recommend going on Sat. nights if only to try it. We started on our bottle of Medoc ($58 and worth it) and it opened up nicely. Ginny's entree was a double cut pork chop ($24?) with bread pudding. Juicy, flavorful and better than almost anywhere else. I tried the paparadelle with wild boar ragu ($16?) and this was way better than expected as well. The wild boar meat was plentiful & meaty, tasty but absolutely not gamey. According to the waiter, the use of mint (which could be tasted but was not overwhelming to the dish) is the secret. We then had a selection of 4 cheeses (the menu offers 3 or 6, but we couldnt agree on the 3rd so the waiter gave us the 4th gratis). There were 8 or 9 various offerings ($11 for the 3) and I cant remember which we selected from the cart. Each was excellent, with the standout being the French soft one with black truffle oil drizzled over it. A domestic (?) goat cheese with lavender was very nice as well. Afterwards, 2 gelati scoops freshly made next door (comped by our waiter). The cafe du monde flavor was very good, the cinnamon ok (I dont like cinn., but Ginny does and pronounced it excellent).

It's an adult place, a beautiful & classy room. Gracious service. However, the patrons ranged from 70-somethings down to more than a couple of 20-somethings. Nice for us 50-somethings to be in the middle of the range for a change. Total with bar bill and good tip, $205. Not inexpensive, but maybe only 60% of what this quality would cost in Manhattan. And, if last night was any indication, it's getting better over time.

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