Welcome back dear readers, and I hope you had a fabulous long weekend! I sure did, and although I didn’t do anything especially exciting, I enjoyed every lazy, sunny minute of it.
This is another case where I’m blogging about a dinner quite some time after it happened. Why? Absolutely no reason short of being too lazy to write it up. I went to Alloy with friends and found it quite good, but just shy of fabulous. Sadly the lighting in the restaurant was pleasantly dim – great for ambience but crappy for photos, so I apologize in advance for the lack of quality here.
Alloy opened up to all sorts of fanfare sometime last year, and got great reviews right out of the gate. After giving them a chance to settle in, two friends and I visited them sometime in the winter.
The décor was quite stylish without being overly cold or pretentious, and they are geniuses with the lighting. Brighter toward the hostess area, dimmer in the restaurant, the golden ambience of indirect light is still memorable.
The service was excellent throughout, which is not surprising since we knew our waitress. Nevertheless she was very knowledgeable and assuredly steered us through the menu.
Here we come to the downer part of the night – the cocktails. Apparently on the night we were there, the regular bartender was not. Whoever was filling in did not have the same expertise with the cocktails, a fact that we found out after we gently questioned the quality of our libations. I’m not sure if Alloy now has redundancies in place to replace the bartender if he can’t make it, but that night our cocktails ranged from bearable to awful. And since we heard amazing things about the drinks we were understandably disappointed. And that lost the restaurant money since we stopped at one. The Moscow Mule cocktail was made with ginger yes, but assuredly too much of it, to the point where the bitter notes in ginger were in the forefront, and the Pinku cocktail tasted like cough syrup. It was truly awful.
Rather than a typical bread basket, was hummus with naan and olives was brought to the table, and the hummus itself was strangely bland. It sorely needed a hint of lemon juice, a breath of garlic or even some sea salt on top. Perfectly smooth, with good olive oil on top, it was creamy and bland. The olives however, were fantastic. Firm, slightly spicy, perfectly fresh they were everything mushy bland overly salty olives are not. The naan was very good also, soft and flavorful.
For our entrees we went with the beef short rib for myself, and I really need to wean myself off this dish, since if it’s on the menu I’ll inevitably order it. The short rib was excellent to the point of ridiculous. Out of our three entrees it was declared the table favorite. Melt-in-your-mouth tender, savoury, rich and wonderful it was a perfect winter evening dish. I also realized why people like polenta for the first time in my life, so kudos for that.
Another friend had the double cut pork chop. Since I only had one bite, I can declare it very good but not as good as my short rib.
My other friend went with a fish special, which was a gorgeous plating of halibut. While dramatic, the whole dish was a bit bland, with none of the flavors standing out or really offsetting the fish. That was the table consensus, not just me, so it was likely really on the unstimulating side.
I personally declined dessert, but my dining partners ordered two, a trio of panna cotta, and a trio of sorbet. Both were delightful, with the edge going to the trio of sorbet. I frequently underestimate sorbet, thinking it will be a lovely palate cleanser but nothing to write home about, but this trio of sorbet was spectacular. Slowly melting over a pile of diced fruit the dish was a perfect mix of refreshing, sweet and unexpected, making it a lovely ending to a great meal.
220 42 Ave SE