The Alley Light is tucked away on Second Street NW between Rev Soup and Downtown Thai. Photo from The Alley Light Facebook page.
Update 3.23.14: check out this new Happy Hour deal at The Alley Light! $2 drafts and apéritifs from 4:30 to 6:30pm on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays.
Had a chance to check out The Alley Light, a new place on the DTM opened by Will Richey of Rev Soup and the Whiskey Jar. As one person with us said when we walked in, "I don't feel like we're in Charlottesville anymore." Indeed, tucked away in an actual alley on 2nd Street NW, in-between Rev Soup and Downtown Thai, Will says the place was inspired by places like the Algonquin Hotel in Midtown Manhattan, a kind of restaurant/lounge that has a high-end yet comfortable vibe. There's a main room with big, comfortable chairs around low-set coffee tables, perfect for a serious meeting of the minds or a late-night drink. This is a cool, grown-up place to hang out, read the paper, bring a date for a real intimate evening, or just escape from your typical DTM venue.
You'll find local beer and wine, a menu of specialty cocktails, reasonably priced small-plate dishes like pork belly, mussels on the half shell, marinated calamari, and mushroom crepes. There's also a selection of larger, shared dishes, like a big cheese board or veggie board, a seafood plate that includes shrimp, cod, scallops, salmon and squid, plus beef tartare, octopus, a veal, foie gras and sweet bread terrine, and much more. Seriously, check this place out on their official opening night, Wednesday, February 12.