Sergio's has been ion Mill St. for years, but used to be in a very narrow, small space across the road and down the street. They moved to this much larger space less than a year ago. They also expanded their menu with the move.
We've been to the new version about four times, for lunch and dinner.
When you first come in, you notice that the interior is very attractive, with a dark-wood bar, dark wood floors, and nice light fixtures.
There's a small waiting area to the right of the door.
The people working the hostess desk are all friendly and helpful.
There's a row of very big potted trees down the center of the room, separating the bar area from the dining tables.
The food comes reasonably fast and while entirely unremarkable, is tasty and served in average amounts. There's nothing on the menu that you won't find in any other Italian place in this town, or any other.
OK, here's what we'd fix if we were king and queen:
The walls are bare. There's nothing to catch the eye. Vast expanses of empty wall above the tables. We assume that they plan to put something there, but when?
The tables, likewise, are bare. Dark wood, but not distinctive in any way. No tablecloths. No place settings when you come in - each table has a folded cloth napkin on it and you get your silverware after you're seated. It gives the impression that either they weren't expecting us, or they don't care enough to make the place look welcoming when you first come in. For a place like this, they need tablecloths and set places.
Because everything is bare, the noise level is considerable. More than we're comfortable with.
There's a nice outdoor eating area out front, built under the overhang of the supper floor of the building. During the winter, you expect it to be empty, of course. But in warm weather, all it has is tables and chairs. No planters, no greenery, nothing to soften the edges and make it look enticing. I'd put planter boxes full of geraniums on the railings, or pots in the corners, or something to draw the eye. It looks like a prison dining-room, with tables and chairs behind an iron railing.
We like that Sergio is on duty every evening, circulating through the room, stopping to chat with the diners. We like that the serving staff are friendly and efficient. We like that the bare-bones shell of an attractive, enticing, appealing dining room is present and could easily be completed with a little attention to detail.
We wish Sergio would add some distinctive dishes to the menu, something that would make us want to go THERE for it, something that is unavailable or not as good anywhere else locally.
We wish he would finish the decor of the interior and exterior, with something on the walls, plantings, whatever.
We wish we could see a nicely set table with a tablecloth when we first walk in.
Oh yeah - and in the winter, we wish he'd put a heavy curtain across the entry so we don't get frozen by blasts of cold air every time people enter and leave.
Will we go back? Probably. The food is nice and it's a good location. But it could be sooo much more.
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