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Viale Misses the Mark (long)

GaryK | Jan 12, 201507:04 AM

We really wanted to like this place, especially since it was my wife's birthday and we were fans of its predecessor, Rendezvous. Things started off well enough with some fresh crusty rolls but went downhill fast. My half potion of angolotti in pesto with grilled rapini was pretty tasty but not all that memorable. The birthday girl's salad with greens (mostly kale), marinated pears and various other items was notable by the near complete absence of the advertised pears, which were a selling point on the dish.

Main dishes showed either an inattentive kitchen or some really wrongheaded decisions. My daughter's Margherita pizza was almost inedible due to an overwhelming amount of thyme. My special of lamb loin with broccolini, charred Israeli couscous and a pea reduction was marred by overly bitter vegetables and sauce as well as poorly trimmed, fatty lamb; the overall visual impression of the dish just wasn't very appetizing. Finally, the breast on my wife's roast chicken was OK but the leg/drumstick was seriously underdone (we found out the next day when we heated it up for leftovers) and the dish was further undercut by another bitterness issue with the glaze on the accompanying carrots; she loves carrots so when she leaves them on the plate you know there's a problem.

You won't hear about dessert at Viale because we went home for what was the best part of the meal: our 14 year old baker-in-training daughter's lovely (made from scratch, of course) devil's food birthday cake with white frosting.

Service was friendly but not all that attentive. I hate to slam a place and my occasional Chowhound posts are usually on the positive side but this was a real disappointment. If something's not right I will often say something to the wait person but once we pointed out the lack of pears in the salad, the problems kept coming and it just wasn't worth it. Viale needs work.

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