Tuesday, July 8, 2008


I was excited to try Alloro, the new green-clad Italian restaurant in the Upper East Side, because I love Cacio e Pepe, its older sibling in the East Village, so much. Alloro is currently hidden behind a little construction, but forgiven that flaw, I was greeted with a snazzy green interior, replete with ruined-decadence chandeliers. The chairs are green, the floor is green, the walls are green. Even the proprietress's necklace is green.

This snazzy interior held a lot of great food. The bread was quite reminiscent of CeP. It's a little tough and heavy on the crust, while the interior softness seems all too insubstantial. It's kind of addictive. It came with a nice sundried tomato dipping sauce, nice and oily.

For appetizers, we ordered an spinach salad with toasted almonds and an immaculate balsamic vinegar. We also had an eggplant Parmesan, "traditional and revisited." This interesting dish consisted on one side of an eggplant Parmesan complete with heavy red sauce, eggplant tenderly cooked and the cheesiness just right. On the other side, a delectably chewy fried mozzarella was topped with a creamed eggplant a little suggestive of a baba ganouj, but somehow fluffier. It was topped by a small delicious Parmesan cracker.

Second courses consisted of a fusilli and a cannelloni. The chewy and fresh fusilli came in an arugula pesto that hit just the right notes of bitter and salty, and lay under a cloud of parmesan emulsion. The cannelloni (supposedly crispy, but actually unfortunately not so crispy) ensconced ricotta and mozzarella and lay in red sauce. Both dishes were moderately creative, in ways that enhanced rather than detracted from the flavor and texture of their dishes.

Dessert was a watermelon ice topped with a white chocolate mousse, and a bavarian cream. The mousse had a consistency a little bit like mascarpone, interrupted with chunks of white chocolate. The bavarian cream was colored dark and flavored of blueberries. It sat in a little pool of stark red wild berries and a berry sauce, and was topped with a lemon liqueur foam. Both desserts hit the mark really well.

The service was reasonable, and the price is right. Overall, the dinner was superb. In terms of craveability, my most important criterion, this is my favorite Italian in New York City right now.

Stars: 5/5

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