I'm afraid this is another one of those very familiar restaurant stories. The great little restaurant in a small, buy cozy location, with great homemade food, decides to go big time with a bigger, newer, "nicer" location. But they lose the charm and the quality of what made them a success in the 1st place.
My wife and I had a disappointing dinner experience last night. It wasn't bad, just a big miss from what it used to be. To start, we were seated in a booth along the back wall. When the door opened for customers either coming or going, there was a bone chilling draft that ran through the entire restaurant. Next, we looked for our favorite item on the menu; chicken braciolettine for her and veal braciolettine for me. To our great disappointment, we were told the dish was removed from the "new menu" (as well as a few other local favorites). Too bad, that dish was not only our favorite, but many of our friends raved about it, and it was the featured dish of a Dine Around Cape Cod article recently. We ordered our martinis, and what used to be nicely made cocktails in deep martini glasses is now vermouthy mix in shallow glasses. 1/2 the cocktail that it used to be, at a more expensive price. Ditto for the glass of chardonnay, with the pour line etch into the glass (cheap and tacky).
We ordered a ceasar salad to split. It was a nice size for 2, and a nice lemony caesar dressing with fresh parmesan cheese shavings. I love anchovies, if that was an option, it wasn't offered by our waitress.
I had the chicken and sausage carbonara, it was salty and OK. My wife saw a veal Romano dish that sounded good, and asked if it could be made with chicken instead. The waitress said no problem. What was served, was a pre-cooked, breaded chicken cutlet made for chicken parm, topped with a Romano sauce. Not very inspiring.
Our service was solid, and the decor is certainly an upgrade from the old West Main St. location. But I'd trade the decor upgrade and the higher priced menu of the new, for the better quality food and the cozy atmosphere of the old, anyday!
Fix that door problem... who likes to dine with freezing winds blowing through the whole place??
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