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Aug 7, 2012 06:58 PM

Alberto's in Hyannis: off night or downward trend?

Our dishwasher was broken with no repair in sight until next week, so we made an impromptu dinner decision tonight and headed over to Alberto's in Hyannis. Although we've always regarded this to be a reliable place for dinner, our meals were decidedly...meh. The proscuitto with melon had somewhat dried-out proscuitto and underripe melon, and the bruschetta was overly charred. Main courses were o.k. at best--even my ravenous teenager didn't finish his gnocchi, and I was underwhelmed with my veal zingarella.

Anyone else been to Alberto's recently? I'm wondering if we just had an off night or if this once-reliable spot is on a downward trend. Admittedly, I spent three weeks in Italy in April, which raises the bar a bit, but we were quite disappointed with our meal.

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  1. It's always been reliable to a point for me. Every now and then something misfires in the kitchen. Hasn't happened often in my 20 plus years of patronage. But it has happened. We ate there earlier in the spring and had four very happy diners who all had soup to nuts. Hoping there hasn't been something drastic like a loss of head chef or some such. Even at the top of it's game, however, it's nothing at all like Italy. Just excellent Italian/American fare. If you miss Italy and want an authentic Italial meal go to Falmouth's Osteria La Civeta.

    1 Reply
    1. re: CapeCodGuy

      I am not a patron mostly because I rarely dine in Hyannis. I think the sidewalk bistro style is cute in appearance but not sure I want to dine on Main St. Hyannis. I was there years ago so my comments are not relevant. Recent Yelp reviews are all over the charts.

    2. I try to not judge restaurants on the Cape by what goes on in July & August. Everything seems to get better after Labor Day.

      9 Replies
      1. re: kevinricci

        A very valid point, but still, they clearly need to improve their consistency based on the reviews on yelp from phelena's link. All-in-all, there are more positives than negatives, but it is on the high end side, so one should reasonably expect excellence. That's been my overall experience mostly, but I do tend to eat in the shoulder seasons and in the winter. I do happen to like eating on the street however. To me, it's one of the nicest features of Main St. since they renovated the sidewalks and allowed this to happen.

        1. re: CapeCodGuy

          I'll give it another try after the summer season and report back. Maybe I've been spoiled by La Civetta, which we've visited several times now and really love.

          1. re: lisaonthecape

            So sorry to hear Alberto's not being up to par. I've found them to be one of the old reliables in town for many, many years. Another spot that always pleases is Il Maestro, tho I've yet to try their new location. Anyone been? Slightly off topic, would you care to share your dishwasher recipes. Sounds interesting at the very least.

            1. re: kiki47

              where are they located now (Il Maestro?)...

              1. re: phelana

                Plymouth exit five across from IHOP. I'll keep it short and sweet: terrible.

                1. re: T.Clark

                  The old Barolo location in Hyannis is the one I meant.

                  1. re: kiki47

                    The Boston Globe gave the Plymouth locale 5 stars and Trip Adviser's 20+ reviews do also. Yelp is variable but mostly supportive. I'd take the "terrible" post (with zero details) with a major grain of salt. Never been to the Plymouth one myself, but the former Hyannis location has always been decent for what it is.

                    1. re: CapeCodGuy

                      Yeah Boston Globe gave it "no rating" and trip advisor (doesn't do stars ) gives it 4 1/2 circles which is the same rating as a whole bunch of crappy places in Plymouth, and the yelpsters give it 3 1/2 stars with 5 people chiming in, the two most prolific of the 5 reviewers giving it 1 star. So I'd take that with a grain of sea salt too. Didn't want to bore you with the details seeing as this thread is really about Alberto's. The two times I've been to the Plymouth one it has been, well terrible. Garlic, garlic, garlic, raw garlic....overcooked pasta, low budget ingredients, amateur waitstaff, multiple menu items not available, generic strip mall space salvaged from the defunct Sabor. So there's a short list of the requested details, although I thought terrible summed up my experience well. The son of the Hyannis store runs this one and in the globe article you reference
                      it states in the first paragraph that the son has "struck out on his own". Struck out with me indeed.

                      1. re: CapeCodGuy

                        Let me edit my post to reflect that it was the owner who claimed the 5 star Globe review. I read that in the Barnstable Patriot, and did not read the actual review itself (Which I now see is very complimentary of the food.)


                        Also, if it is indeed the son who is running it, then it has no bearing on the Hyannis location, which itself has no bearing on whether Alberto's is in decline or not.


        2. We had dinner at Alberto's this past Saturday night, and found it very good. The service was perfect. Not too attentive, but our waitress was there when we needed her and she knew the menu and specials quite well. The food was excellent. I had the veal saltimbocca and my wife had the sirloin steak. Quality of the ingredients was as expected from a good restaurant. The beef was of high quallity. The portions were fairly large. Prices were very fair, as well. The week before we ate at the "new" Il Maestro. No comparison. Alberto's was much superior in all categories.

          2 Replies
          1. re: kevinricci

            Nice to hear. Perhaps the OP just hit them on an off night after all. And I agree with your assessment of Il Maestro vs. Alberto's. Night and day. (Off-topic, but the original head chef of Il Maestro left a few years ago to open his own Norabella, of which Phelana and others speak very highly). Il Maestro's food took a turn for the worse.

            1. re: CapeCodGuy

              Had dinner here last night and it was terrific. Only minor complaint is the server was a bit aloof, but attentive enough. The food was first rate. The veal Porto Fino, with a generous portion of lobster, cheese, & asparagus in a champagne lobster sauce on tender pan fried veal was sublime, if a bit rich. DW had, and I cut and paste from the menu here:
              Egg-battered sole topped with jumbo shrimp, sea scallop, baby spinach, & fontina cheese in a beurre blanc with a locally made, award winning, Fabrizia Limoncello. Served with pasta aglio olio. Delish. Looking forward to summer as I enjoy the sidewalk seating in the warmer months.