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Mar 26, 2008 02:46 PM

Dinner in blue bell

I recently went to Allison's for dinner. I was very excited because everyone raves about it. I have to say it was one of the worst dinners I have ever had. Let me begin by saying that the service was excellent. We started with the squid which was soggy and tasteless. There was supposed to be a mango slaw. I think i found one piece of mango. Then we had the duck confit ravioli with savoy cabbage, fig, parmesan, and balsamic. The ravioli again was so soggy because there was a mound of cabbage on top that had been sauteed with bay leaf and mirapou. All I tasted was bay leaf. I couldn't taste the duck at all. There was way too much on the plate. I figured the entrees had to be better. We had the scallops with gnocci, truffles, scallions, and english peas. The scallops alone were perfectly cooked. The gnocci melted in my mouth but not in a good way. It was like mashed potato. Everything was soaked in butter. I had the cobia. Again the fish was cooked perfectly. It was served with blue cheese polenta, carmelized onions, and a mussel jus. Again all I tasted was butter. I couldn't taste the blue cheese. The onions were barely cooked. It was awful. After that dinner I thought I had taken a bath in butter. I definitely will not go back. Does anyone know another place to try around that area? I have been to boubon, zacharias, parc bistro, the hotel, brasserie 73, and nothing wowed me. I would love some suggestions.

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  1. We tend to go for ethnic food in the immediate area, though I have had much more positive experiences at Alison than you describe. It might be worth a second try.

    But I have to agree that all of the others you mentioned are pretty bad - particularly Zacharias - awful!

    Try Cedar's Cafe, it is very small but the food is quite good. Be sure to call for a reservation. Also we like Korea Garden - the service can be awful but the food is good. Another good spot is Trinacria on Rt. 202, very good food. And the Thai place in the Giant Food shopping center has some good dishes.

    1. Oh - also El Serape and Tamarindo's for Mexican. Both are good, Tamarindo's (down Rt. 73) has very good crispy fish.

      1. You must have been to Allison's on an off nite. I have been there and everything was great. I had the scallop and Gnocci's also and they were great.

        Shame you did not like your food and spent alot of $$$.

        1. PS- I think Bourbon is blah too.

          1. I agree with the others. You must have been to Alison on an off night. That happened to us once. Went back and it was amazing. Bourbon - totally awful! Thai Orchid is really good also.

            3 Replies
            1. re: crazyspice

              There was just a post about the Magnolia's about 15 minutes from Allison's but worth the drive. The food is consistently delicious. For $$$, you shouldn't have to worry about an off night. As for the Mexican, I prefer Tamarindos over El Serape. Of course, if you just want gaucamole, chips and margaritas - then El Serape is fun. I went to La Cava when it first opened and thought it was delicious, but haven't been in several years. We always found the owner amusing, but I know others found him to be obnoxious. I'm glad you like Thai Orchid, we've never been, but we're going on Saturday.

              1. re: pafoodie

                The owner of La Cava is a cross between humorous and obnoxious. Girl's night was this past saturday and we went there. there were 8 of us and we all brought a bottle of wine. The restaurant was not full and we were told there was only one wine cooler available for our wine! The food was not as good as I have heard it was. We will not be going back.

                In 3 years, we had one off night at Alison. Not bad! It can happen at any restaurant and has in some pretty $$$$ places. I am not ready to cross her off my list.

                1. re: crazyspice

                  The owner of La cava (who, I believe also owns Tamarindo as well) IS obnoxious! My wife met him and his obnoxious friend at a bar when she was out with her girlfriend and he was incredibly obnoxious, arrogant, and VERY full of himself. They didn't know (nor did I), at the time, that he was the owner of La Cava, so I suggested they go there on a recent girl's night out. They said the food was "eh" and that he kept coming over to their table while they were trying to catch up and saying things like, "what's the matter? Aren't you going to eat? Come on, eat! You're food is gonna get cold!" That's obnoxious and intrusive in anybody's book. Plus, the prices he charges for so-so food is obnoxious as well.

                  The problem with Blue Bell is the same problem with restaurants in the Montco/Bucks area in general: overpriced and mediocre at best. I have never been wowed by Alison's, nor any surrounding restaurant for that matter. Go to Castello's in North Wales or Il Melograno in Doylestown for decent Italian, Yalda Grill in Willow Grove for tasty and cheap Afghani food, Cross Culture in Doylestown for very good (albeit expensive) Indian food, and Vietnam Cafe in Telford for very good and incredibly cheap Vietnamese food.