THE DINING REPORT – BELLY

I HAD A BELLY FULL, AND MORE

It’s hard to know what to make of Belly by the name. Also adding to the confusion, the fact that both Belly and Belly Timber opened last summer during approximately the same time frame. A knowledgeable restaurant goer in this group actually invited me to meet himself and partner at Belly a little over two months ago, based on the good review it had gotten in WW a day or two prior. As it happens though, the review referred to was actually for Belly Timber. Not that it matters, as a social pariah I’ll go almost anywhere, and it was a good way for me to see what Belly was like, even if I just wanted a drink and a nosh, having already eaten that evening.

This name Belly though, what kind of image does it really radiate? Although certainly less confusing than Belly Timber, to me Belly probably says cute, possibly fat, perhaps jiggly, wiggly, and Buddha like. In all cases, not particularly serious, which is some ways could be an image problem for a restaurant like Belly, because although the name is perhaps a bit goofy, or perhaps too anatomically specific, Belly is certainly extremely serious about the food it serves its patrons. Belly is nothing if not a fine dining destination, albeit a casual, non-pretentious one with reasonable prices. I must also note, now having eaten a meal at Belly, a fat, jiggly wiggly belly could also come into play if you ate there regularly, as many of the portions are huge.

IMG_0736At this current time, it appears Restaurant Roulette is eeking out its survival as a small group of approximately six serious restaurant goers who meet once a month at some nice restaurant for a good meal and some semi-serious conversation. In October it was Lincoln, and this month, less than a mile away, was Belly, a restaurant which took over the space briefly occupied by the originally interesting but soon to be crash and burn Terrior (an eatery plagued by plagiarism, staff and supplier infighting, and a crabby owner.) Belly is staffed by really nice people though, from the minute the hostess (ownership/partner perhaps?) literally opens the front door for you, you feel welcome and wanted. (Although perhaps in these tough and frightening economic times, many restaurants are happier to see patrons than even a year ago.) But the Belly staff seems genuinely nice, always a 20 thumbs up for me (as our long lost friend MM used to say, or was that 10 thumbs up?)
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