Alldays are cozy days

Last week Loryn Kipp froze solid. For real. One might think that a ski coach would stand impervious to subzero temperatures, but her fear of the dining hall held her poised on Spring Street, wrought with indecision as to where to dine, until she froze through. Trusty sidekick Scott Selberg, aware of the perils that await Billsville inmates, loaded Loryn onto his forklift and drove north in search of a hot meal.

Twenty minutes later he ran out of gas in Bennington, thus ending the desperate search for sustenance. Fortunately the two found themselves smack dab in front of Alldays and Onions, where Chef Owner Maureen O’Neil has been thawing out frozen diners in a casual atmosphere since 1988. With not a Knock You Naked in sight, Scott and Loryn perused a menu chock full of seasonal specialties.

Try these for starters: sauteed portabello mushrooms with Brie and garlic, salmon bruschetta with a lemon caper sauce and melted cheese, or a soft curried vegetable soup. Entrees varied from traditional dishes such as pan-fried trout and roast chicken to the more adventuresome sweetbreads in a wild mushroom sauce and pan-seared mahi with a garden Pernod sauce. Veggie options included pasta primavera with a red, white or parsley pesto, or the standby veggie burger.

Loryn chose a blackened salmon with a mellow Alldays salsa; usually “blackened” denotes an overpowering spice-a-thon, but not here. The flavorful crust only complemented the fresh salmon taste. Scott, who likes a livelier spice, thought it a bit too mild, but nonetheless tasty. His roasted chicken breast arrived dressed in a succulent honey thyme sauce, effectively masking the slightly overcooked meat beneath. Veggies and rice, which were served a bit cold, accompanied each entrée along with a small salad. Meals also come with two fresh-out-of-the oven mini-loaves of bread cooked in their own bakery. This same bakery produces all of their desserts, which range from key lime pie and apple crisp to chocolate raspberry mousse.

An appealing presentation, super-cool service and live music only elevated our dining experience. The same folk band that played for us, Daf Brudaj, will be playing again this Wednesday from 6-9 p.m., but you can find live music at Alldays every Wednesday as well as open mic night the first Thursday of each month (though this might be dangerous).

If you’re truly in the need of some warming spirits, the restaurant offers a small bar and a few choice beers on tap. Unfortunately for these two weary travelers, the Record budget won’t allow any boozing, so we stuck with water.

So what’s the pulse on dinner at Alldays and Onions? O’Neil serves up a filling meal with a diverse range of tastes to suit any student bored with the Williamstown standards. The price is on the steeper side for casual dining, but the food and cozy atmosphere make it well worth the drive. And if you’re not in the mood for dinner, you can catch breakfast or lunch starting at 7:30 a.m.

As Loryn shoved back from the table, filled to the brim and toasty warm, O’Neil brought out a rack of wool hats to help guard against future frostbite. Yes, the place sells hats too. Give it a go.