Alison two – Hit or Miss
Oof, Craig LaBan likes the bar scene and bites at Alison two but struggles to find praise elsewhere.
Alison two, in general, is not quite what I’d hoped for from Barshak, who’s had more ups and downs in her career than a ride at Wildwood. Over the course of that roller coaster, though, from her splashy rise at Striped Bass, to the flop of Venus and the Cowboy, to her bright resurgence in Blue Bell, long one of my favorite suburban BYOBs, I’ve grown to appreciate her culinary aesthetic – a knack for pairing great ingredients with focused, inventive dishes inspired by her international travels.
But Barshak isn’t cooking here, having ceded the kitchen to another chef for the broader responsibilities of managing the big Alison expansion picture. (Blue Bell, which now has a liquor license, has been closed for renovations but is scheduled to reopen soon.) And it’s too obvious in the lack of finesse and consistency here that this otherwise appealing menu is missing a steady hand.
One Bell – Hit or Miss