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Feb 2, 2008 06:38 PM

Aioli in Dupont

I went here for lunch a couple of days ago and I was not impressed. I heard some good things about this place, but I left disappointed. I expected a "Meditalian Gourmet" place would have creative and delicious food...I was wrong. I ordered a chicken chop salad. It was too basic for $13. It was a mix of iceberg and some other lettuce, a few cucumbers, a couple of strips of red pepper and 3 tomatoes (all raw...i would at least think they would roast it or something). Then the additional $4 chicken was about 3 ounces of precooked chicken reheated and put on the somewhat small salad. The parm cheese they had there was a la Kraft kind, not fresh. I won't go back to this place. This salad was more bland than one I would get at Subway, and almost 3 times the price. Plus, the manager there was not the kindest person. For about the same price you can go to the new Med/Italian place across the street that used to be Mimi's.

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  1. Agree, it is not that great. Weird because it seems like a great concept and the initial reviews were good. It is a poor man's Italian Store. I'd probably rather eat at the bagel place across the street.

    1 Reply
    1. re: masonuc

      Or SoHo Coffee on the corner where they have an incredible (and huge) pulled chicken salad wrap for significantly less :)

    2. I'm eating my lunch from AIOLI right now -- first time there. My first clue should have been the empty dining room at 12:30 on a Thursday afternoon. My second was the sight of the small, foil-wrapped prosciutto panini for a whopping $7.50! I was hungry, so I quickly grabbed a side of $4 red-skinned potato salad (very average tasting -- nothing to write home about. $7.99/lb!). And in the end lunch was $15 with a diet coke and (honestly) slightly below average in taste: I've made better paninis at home using fresh ingredients; pesto-marinated chicken breast, smoked mozz, sun-dried tomatoes and a George Forman grill. EXTREMELY disappointing place. Definitely not worth the $$$. It's one of those places that THINKS it's way better than it is and will wonder why it failed.

      6 Replies
      1. re: inbox_blues

        Maybe we should have a death watch thread for these sort of long until gone, place your guesses....

        1. re: MsDiPesto

          Dunno - someone just wrote a GLOWING review in Tom Sietsema's chat on Wednesday about Aioli. Either it was an inside job (desperation move), or it does have a few really loyal fans.

          1. re: dcandohio

            I just read that. I thought it sounded quite similar to the review below. I live around the corner from Aioli and today is the most I've heard about it since it's opening. Hmmmmm....

            1. re: Elyssa

              I've only eaten at this place once, but my experience was pretty bad. The "tomato soup" had cannellini beans (undercooked and hard, mind you) in it for some reason, and lacked even the faintest mention of seasoning. My sandwich of assorted Italian meats tasted like something that was made 72 hours prior and left to fester in the back of the fridge before being rediscovered. It came meagerly filled with slimy meat on a stale-gummy-tough roll that was borderline inedible. Also, what's the deal that weird carrot/radish/miscellaneous root veg salad that they serve with EVERYTHING??

              The location must really be cursed with bad mojo! There are way too many lunch-goers in the area for a prime location like Aioli to be scant of diners at noon!

              1. re: Elyssa

                Well, that was also me on Tom's chat, which made me think to look it up here and see what the word was. I really do like their food and I have no ties to them. I just work in the neighborhood. And I really don't want to see another local small business go under only to be replaced by a dry cleaners/bank/starbucks.

              2. re: dcandohio

                Haha. I saw the glowing review on Sietsema's chat too. Inside job, IMO. I ate there for the fourth time the other day (my office is close) and it was mediocre for the fourth time. I've given up at this point. And yeah it was empty at like 1 pm on a weekday. When they close they'll blame the location, but it is the food. The doughnut place that was there before could have done well, in my opinion, if they had better hours. What a terrible idea that was. Would have been a great dessert place -- if they were open after dinner! Instead it was open in morning and afternoon only, and they never had a chance. Not a big breakfast crowd there, and they would killed by Krispy Kreme, right off the metro, anyway.

          2. I like this place quite a bit. I'm vegetarian and I have had some really great soups and salads here. The lentil soup with spinach is always good. The red lentil salad and the white bean salad are great. I love the grape leaves. The only thing I don't like about it is that the interior somehow feels temporary or unfinished. And the fact that it is never crowded doesn't help. I hope they are able to make it.

            1. After seeing it on Tom's chat and seeing what others had to say, I decided to go in there today to test it out for a second time. People deserve second chances so maybe restaurants should too. Well, this one doesn't! It was even WORST than the first time. My three colleagues and I ordered two different types of sandwiches and a spinack salad with chicken. We also bought a veggie side that was in the front counter and split a dessert that was in the fridge. The side was an oily.vinegar mess. It must have been sitting for one too many hours to develop that taste. My panini tasted bland and my friend's sandwich was a few slices of meat, an overly sweet spread and once piece of lettuce. Our dessert tasted like it was still partly frozen. Here is the KICKER: my other colleague found a hair in her salad. When she showed this to one of the employees, they shrugged and didn't seem to care too much. I will for sure not be going back there again. The food is gross and so overpriced.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Jacey

                I echo MsDiPesto - start the funeral march music now!

                1. re: dcandohio

                  wow, i can't believe we are talking about the same place. I just went there and got two salads to go, the white bean and red lentil. both were delicious and very fresh. I found the staff to be very helpful.