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“Unwarranted hype” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Art Alley Grille

Art Alley Grille
515 Chetco Avenue, Brookings, OR 97415
541-469-0800
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Ranked #2 of 43 Restaurants in Brookings
Cuisines: Seafood, Eclectic
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Doing business, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Dinner, Reservations
Vancouver, Canada
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
93 helpful votes 93 helpful votes
“Unwarranted hype”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2012

Was super-excited after reading all the reviews here, but unfortunately the Art Alley didn't at all live up to expectations...

Maybe people are excited because this is pretty much the only "fine dining" spot in tiny Brookings? The atmosphere is very nice - I'll give it that, and the service was good, but the food was mediocre-average at best. If it could be summed up in one word, it would be BLAND! Everything was semi-competently prepared (seafood risotto, stuffed shrimp, prime rib), but also all missing any sort of distinctive flavor - as is often the case with restaurants with huge menus.

Cut the menu, focus on creating a select handful of memorable dishes, and this place would be set to deliver an incredible experience. It just isn't quite there yet in the food department.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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125 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    93
    17
    9
    3
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
San Jose, California
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
80 helpful votes 80 helpful votes
“Disappointing lunch”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2012

We passed through Brookings on the last day of our Oregon Coast trip, Having read the reviews on TripAdvisor, we stopped at the Art Alley Grille for lunch, The place looks nice, a unique concept of an art gallery with a restaurant upstairs. We sat on the balcony, enjoying the first rays of sun breaking through the fog.
The clam chowder was rather good but overly salty. The Thai salad I opted for looked wonderful but that first impression went downhill with the first bite: the skewered beef tasted off, almost foul, the greens were rather tired and the cashews and peanuts looked suspiciously identical to the ones you get in a bag of snacks. My husband's looked unhappy as he ate his smoked turkey sandwich, which apparently wasn't much either. We had some wonderful meals along the coast during our week there, and this was quite an anticlimax.
Going through the rave reviews again makes me wonder if the place perhaps fairs better at dinner time.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Top notch”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2012

Nice atmosphere and delicious food. I had the risotto with salmon added and the salmon was tender and delicious yet thoroughly cooked. The risotto was flavorful. I can't quite remember what my husband and sister had now, but they enjoyed their dishes too. I did notice that the table next to us ordered some sort of bread with dip/olive oil and the bread had been toasted to the point of being burnt. Now, I personally would never serve burnt bread to customers, but I didn't order it and I did enjoy what I had hence the five stars. Just remember it can be a bit pricey for the area, but it is great food.

We also greatly enjoyed wondering through the attached art gallery upstairs viewing art by various artists on our way out.

  • Visited September 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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southern oregon
Top Contributor
100 reviews 100 reviews
63 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
“One of the Best Restuarants in Oregon, Not Just Brookings!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2012

I have been to Brookings many times in the 35 years I have lived in Oregon and just this month discovered this little gem.
I had dinner there on August 2, 2012, by myself, and was thoroughly impressed by the atmosphere, decor, staff and the food. It was sooooo good that I went back to the Illinois Valley where we live and brought my wife back there the following Saturday night. Again, the whole experience was delightful. Their vegetable beef soup was homemade, the salad had just the right amount of a light vinaigrette dressing on it and the bread was super. My wife had the rack of lamb and it was prepared to perfection. She ordered it medium rare and it arrived exactly as such. Lamb is the only meat I don't care for, but it looked so good I had to try it. It was more tender than a prime fillet mignon and was seasoned with just the right amount of spices so as not to overpower the meat's flavor. My seafood risotto had tons of great seafood in it and was great as well.
This restaurant is quiet, classy, and great for that romantic dinner out or any occasion and the people of the area should be thankful for such a great place to eat! The soft music being played on the keyboard was a nice addition to a very romantic evening.
My only regret about this experience is that we don't live closer so we could enjoy it more often!
By all means, don't pay any attention to the Google reviews! There is a reason this restaurant is rated the number 1 in the Brookings area.
Try it,,,,, You'll like it!

  • Visited August 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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California
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“A wonderful meal!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2012

Thanks to on-line reviews, I found the Art Alley Grille in Brookings, OR, and I was not disappointed. My dinner tonight was perfect! The rack of lamb, consisting of 8 chops, was cooked exactly as I had requested. The entree was preceded by a seafood stew that was thick with bay shrimp and fish in a tomato-y broth. A diner at a near-by table asked me if the "soup was fishy," and I said "Absolutely!" It was brimming with seafood. The salad was good, the warm wheat bread was filled with crunchy grains, and the garlic mashed potatoes were flavorful. Two glasses of a great red wine and a piece of gooey, warm flour-less chocolate cake rounded out this very memorable meal. The servers were attentive and cheerful. My only suggestion to the restaurant owners is that the place is too nice to have table runners (over their white tablecloths) made of black vinyl. But the music and the art work on the walls made it easy to overlook this tiny flaw. If I return to Brookings, I'll definitely come back.

  • Visited July 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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