When we first moved to Park Slope I did a little research on Italian delis in the neighborhood and headed straight away to Pollio to pick up a sandwich and some house-made tomato sauce. The sandwich was just this side of Blimpies with processed turkey and the sauce was expensive and just not that good. I hadn't been back in three years, preferring Russo's on 7th avenue where I think the sandwiches are excellent. I also love their roast artichokes, the Italian bottled waters, their pastas and, when available, am thrilled to find buratta.
But I thought I would give Pollio's another chance and went the other day. I asked for fresh mozzarella (according to the sign in the window it's made daily)and a pound of caponata. Yuck. The mozarella was ice cold and hard as rock - definitely made fresh, but not on the day I was there. I let it warm up to room temp at my house but it had virtually no taste. The caponata was VILE - filled with huge chunks of cellery and soaking in oil to the extent that I put in in a colander and drained off almost a cup!
Toay I went to Russo's - the mozzarella was on the counter and when I put my hand on it, it was still warm. Yum. And of course I bought the artichokes, only half of which made it home. The mozz was lovely, like chewing on milk. The guy told me in the fall he's going to start making caponata from his grandmother's recipe, I can't wait.
So there you go, my two cents.