Aly's on Main ::: RWC
A new place opened (on Main St) in RWC, Aly's - about at Thanksgiving.
It's about between Donato Enoteca and Martin's West.
The decor is "uninspired", sadly, and I hope they do more to fix the atmosphere. The tables are high quality, but the layout is aweful. The bar is better than any of the tables. The "open kitchen" has overly bright florescent lights.
The food is much better. They bill themselves as farm to table, with a short menu, and a slant including housemade pasta.
Their burger was quite good. Well seasoned, good meat taste.
Their fetucini carbonara was correctly made, but there's that certain housemade taste to pasta that it lacked. Nice Q, though.
Price is much lower than other similarly themed places.
Very friendly people.
In sum --- it's worth a stop, especially if you get shut out of Vesta and Martin's West (why we ended up there). This is the kind of place that should get a few weeks to work the kinks out. I hope they up the quality of the cooking a bit (more interesting menu, more "flavor" in the dishes), and, especially, do work on the interior design. Hang some things on the walls, whatever you need.
Finally - that mexican fish-oriented place from further down broadway opened in downtown (also on broadway). I look forward to trying it - nice looking menu, good cocktails and bar.
Tried this out and came to much the same conclusion. The servers are friendly and the food for the most part is rather good for the price point (except some fish dish we didn't order that looked exceptionally small). It sort of reminded me of "The Table" in Willow Glen all around.
We tried a good chunk of the menu including the date/speck/mizuna salad, burger, carbonara, bolognese (surprisingly good!), beef cheeks, espresso creme brulee and pot au creme. Some minor kinks here and there, but everything was solid and will continue to refine over time.
The tragic flaw here is the decor, and I mention it because for a restaurant like this, it's bad enough to affect not just the first impressions but the overall experience. Everything from the layout/lack of tables, the solid blue and bare walls, the tired-looking booths, the cluttered and fluorescently lit open kitchen and even the cheap silver door was just a bit off.
Here are the photos, straight off their site to give you an idea of this.
The space previously housed a Thai place, and if you compare the interior from before to after, clearly they spent a lot of effort to change it. It's baffling that they ended up with the result they did.
We originally sat in the far corner near the kitchen, and had to move away because of the kitchen lights. If they can block some of that florescent from the dining room, then fix the layout a bit, and put something interesting on the walls (in that order), maybe they'll be up to acceptable.
In the two days since I've been there, the decor still has me thinking and not wanting to go back. That's bad!