BBE Editor's Pick
307 E. 77th St., New York (Upper East Side)
“A seasonal menu.” “Like dining in someone’s home.” You hear comments like these a lot these days, but at Alloro, a 20-seater (with another 25 seats in back) on the Upper East Side, it needs to be said again—and again and again. Salvatore Corea and Gina Rotundo are your hosts, and they’re everywhere, bouncing around this tiny restaurant as if they, well, owned the place. Note the green leather seats, so Roman, such Dolce Vita, decor. Note the food: so Roman but so wildly creative Fellini wouldn’t recognize it. Mozzarella four ways includes a curved-handle baby spoon of frozen granules and a wonton spoon filled with an amuse-bouche taste of molten cheese. (The Chinese spoon might reappear later, holding a tantalizing dollop of homemade ketchup.) Good old ravioli, though, is somewhat traditional and miraculously perfect, with the same chewy consistency all the way out to the rim of dough along each square—al dente the way it was meant to be. But don’t wait to be invited over for dinner. Just walk right in.
Bocconi di mozzarella (fried, raw, liquid, and Italian ice)
Ravioli di carciofi (artichoke ravioli in Parmesan fondue)
Fettuccine in veal ragù
Costolette d’agnello (rack of lamb with Jerusalem artichoke)
Granchi croccanti (sautéed soft-shelled crab)
*the new summer menu has just been introduced view full menu here
The four-seater in the corner is probably the best table in the house, but there are no bad seats. There are an additional four stools at the bar, which is nice for a bite, especially if you are alone.
chew on this
Alloro tinkers with everything. Even a simple Negroni comes in a tall rocks glass, with Aperol joining the Campari and fresh clementine juice lounging about on top—a refreshing counterpoint to the drink’s famously bitter kick. As for special requests, turnaround seems to be fair play. Ask Gina if you could have your salad dressing spooned on from a silver chafing dish between bites and don’t be surprised if she chirps back “of course” without a moment’s hesitation. (Okay, don’t try that, but you get the picture.)
Mon.–Thurs. 5:30 PM–10:30 PM; Sat. 5:30–11:30 PM;
Sun. 5 PM–10 PM
$18 (risotto with Parmesan) to $28 (rack of lamb)
307 E. 77th St. (just east of Second Ave.; subway: 6 to 77th St.), New York, NY 10075; 212-535-2866