I’m always game to try a new restaurant. A place called Nan & Byron’s recently made its debut in the old Vinnie’s Sardine Grill & Raw Bar spot on South Boulevard near East. The folks from 5Church are behind this new venture. All the cupboards were bare. So we figured what the heck.
It was a weekend night, so we called and made a reservation. We arrived within a half hour of making the reservation and the place was packed. Expecting a wait, we were pleasantly surprised when they quickly whisked us to a table in the bar area.
A basket of popcorn arrived at the table instead of the usual basket of bread. We paired that with a couple of glasses of Prosecco while we perused the menu.
Recent reviews mentioned the decibel level and they were on the mark. We could barely hear each other across the table. Good thing they were playing great music. We ended up rocking out and singing while waiting for our food.
I am always on a quest for a good French Dip so there was no question that I was ordering it here. I love the dip that they call the “Awesome Roast Beef Sandwich” at 131 Main. At $16 a pop, though, I am on the lookout for an alternative.
The French Dip at Nan and Byron’s rings in at $9.50. I’m sad to say that it was just okay. The beef was not as rare as 131 Main’s and tasted more like something from the deli counter than slow-roasted beef I’m accustomed to. I’m not saying it was a bad sandwich. It’s just that 131 Main sets a high bar.
The “sweet potato fries” were really waffle sweet potatoes. They were also a disappointment. Because they have holes in them, there is less potato on the inside. The bowl they came in was the same size bowl that the Caesar salad was jammed into: more appropriate for a side than a salad.
Mike described his dinner presentation as “silly.” He ordered the Chicken entrée ($14). It was supposed to come with Peruvian green sauce and two sides and technically it did. He chose mac n’ cheese and peas and carrots for his sides. The green sauce was topped with a few peas and carrots, and 8 or 9 mac n’ cheese noodles and then the chicken. It was tasty but he wanted sides, not garnish. On the menu, they are charging $4 for a side. Hopefully they are bigger than the “sides” that arrived on Mike’s plate.
Still, we had a lot of fun people watching and singing classic rock songs. I’m hoping these are just growing pains and they will straighten out the kinks with time. Our total tab for 3 glasses of Prosecco, salad, the French dip and chicken was $46.50 before tax and tip.