I was at Dali last night for a Girl’s holiday dinner. I’ve been to Dali quite a few times, always on the behest of others, and I want to like this restaurant, I really do. But I always come away with the same question, why do people love it so much?
Atmosphere – It’s fun, festive, lit with candles, and if it wasn’t so damn loud some might consider it romantic.
Drinks – People love the sangria. In addition to the standard red wine sangria, they also offer a cava sangria (Spanish champagne). We tried both and the cava was quite tasty.
Concept – Tapas are fun; you get to try lots of different things, you can share with friends, and you can order more if you want.
Food – I’ll say it, even though it will probably cause hordes of Somervillians to rise up and hunt me down: The food is pretty mediocre. The bread is dry and mealy, not suited for soaking up sauce (which is a shame because that’s the best part). The garlic shrimp were over cooked. The paella was pedestrian. The beef tenderloin entrée was massively overcooked (although, my eating companions and their insane preference for medium to well done meat is to blame for that one). I did enjoy the scallops in a saffron cream sauce, and a short rib in a red wine sauce. We ordered a fruit and chocolate filled crepe for dessert and it was positively rubbery. Someone, clearly, over mixed the batter.
Service: Our waiter was awful: he acted like he was doing us a favor by serving us and bring us plates and glasses. I do have to say, I think he is the exception, as I normally have very enthusiastic servers.
Despite my feelings about Dali, I have no doubt that I’ll be dragged there again at some point.