For my wife Jun and I, the first and foremost element of our dining experience is the quality of food. Yes, we may frown on sloppy services or not-so-great beverage options, but ultimately it has to be the food that matters. And in terms of food, while we give extra points to aesthetic elements in the form of beautiful plating, ultimately the taste is what matters to us. Well, what if a restaurant’s lighting is so bad that it overshadows a diner’s very impression of the food itself? When Jun and I arrived at The Fly, the dining space was so dark that we thought we were on a date at a club rather than a restaurant. We’ve had really good experiences at the sister restaurants Hart’s (https://kenscale.com/2017/09/25/harts/) and Cervo’s (https://kenscale.com/2017/11/30/cervos/), and one thing that both restaurants did well was to keep the dining space in a warm and inviting atmosphere, so the use of barely any lighting puzzled us greatly. While Jun, who takes way better photos of the dishes we share together, tried desperately to capture the food we ordered at The Fly using all kinds of tricks, she ultimately didn’t succeed and we ended up having very unappetizing photos.
I am quite certain that the lighting that hardly allows us to see us the dishes while eating them contributed to our underwhelming experience. While the roast chicken (available at half and whole portion; we chose the half portion) was generally moist and had nice balance of flavor, it didn’t feel like the best chicken in the city. We paid an extra buck to add white sauce, but shockingly the sauce didn’t add much to the chicken. The dim lighting probably affected our impression of the chicken sandwich as well. It was overall a solid sandwich, but as we were struggling with our fingers to get a hold of the sandwich I split in half, we both had to wonder whether it was that great a sandwich for us to make the trek all the way to downtown Brooklyn. For the sides, the fries were so-so but the greens were quite delicious; Jun even went as far to declare that the greens was the best dish she’d had at The Fly!
The Fly, which is open only for dinner hours, doesn’t accept reservations and it did fill quickly during the course of our meal so if you want to avoid long waits, show up early. There is a concise list of natural wines, cocktails and beers to complement your meal, no particularly enticing beverage (perhaps because of our mutual dislike of natural wine varieties). The restaurant had a mix of single diners gathering for casual dinners and families with young children who live nearby in Brooklyn. The Fly is by no means a bad restaurant but it was one place where the lighting completely undermined our dining experience. Why make the dining space so dark in the first place that doesn’t even allow diners to see their food?
KenScale: 7.75/10 (Jun’s Score: 7.5/10)
- Creativity: 7.5/10
- Execution: 7.5/10
- Ingredients: 8.0/10
- Flavor: 8.0/10
- Texture: 8.0/10
- Value: 7.5/10
Address: 549 Classon Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11238
Telephone: (347) 405-5300