Tuesday, December 12, 2017

New Taste Tuesday: Allora

Italian restaurants are a dime a dozen in Atlanta. Of them, not many do Italian fine dining well. That’s why I’m so happy that a new eatery – Allora, located at the Twelve hotel in Atlantic Station – truly gets Italian food and now ranks among my Italian go-to places.

At Allora, the flavors are authentic and the food isn’t too Americanized. You won’t find spaghetti and meatballs on the menu, but can instead look forward to dishes such as caccio e pepe pasta, roasted fish, and fantastic antipasto choices.

WHY GO: Because you want to treat yoself, but don’t want to go too crazy.

THE VIBE: Cozy, inviting, comforting. Dim lighting throughout the restaurant, plenty of intimate booths, and a bustling bar.
These comfy booths are the main seating areas of Allora

DRINK THIS: During the colder months, I would recommend the Serendipity cocktail. It tastes just like apple pie! And while Allora’s cocktail menu changes with the seasons, their wine selection is consistently impressive, boasting a wonderful selection of Italian vinos.
The Serendipity cocktail: Apply brandy, apple cider and prosecco

EAT THIS: My first suggestion is to course your meal – it’s the Italian way of eating! Courses don’t have to be large or numerous, and the menu is perfectly designed for a coursed meal.
Allora's dinner menu

Start with the antipasti (anything that comes before the pasta course, aka appetizers). I loved the whole roasted artichokes with horseradish aioli, the charred octopus, and the burrata. The latter is served with spicy salami, pickled beets, smoked pistachios, apple butter and grilled bread. It was easily my favorite starter! In fact, I’d come back just for the burrata (and a glass of ripasso) any day!
Burrata: My favorite dish of the entire meal

Whole roasted artichokes with horseradish aioli and bread crumbs 
Charred octopus with white bean hummus, peperonata and castelvetrano olives 

For your pasta course, you really can’t go wrong with any of the choices, but I had to try the cacio e pepe. This pasta dish was one of the best meals I had in Italy, and not many Italian restaurants in Atlanta offer it, so I had to get my hands on it. The flavor was spot on!
Cacio e pepe: Fettuccine pasta, black pepper, pecorino romano cheese, poached egg 

For your main course (secondi), the server recommended the roasted branzino, saying it was her absolute favorite item on the menu – so much so, they often run out of it. Topped with broccoli, capers, castelvetrano olives, lemon and brown butter, I was sold!
Roasted branzino topped with beautiful, tasty greens 

The dish certainly lived up to the hype – it was delicious and just the right amount of food.

LOGISTICS: Allora is located on the lobby level of the Twelve hotel in Atlantic Station (361 17th Street NW, Atlanta, GA). The restaurant has complimentary valet and is open 6:30 am to 11 pm every day (11:30 pm on Friday and Saturdays).