For those of you who don’t know this already, I am a Queens native. Originally from Astoria (yes, I’m half Greek) and then moved to Bayside when I was 10. My mom still lives in Bayside and some of my friends do too, so I hope that at least ONE of them will read this and make a trip over to Allora because it was wonderful. 12 courses of wonderful to be exact. Seriously.
One of my biggest complaints when reviewing a restaurant is not service, not lack of flavor, but lack of creativity and consistency. Rarely do I see “new” things on a menu and rarely do I have a meal that was great from start to finish (aka from apps to dessert). Allora Kitchen had everything down pat, with great service, nice ambiance, and a just enough new twists on the menu to make it completely approachable yet intriguing. I mean hey, it pulled me in all the way from Brooklyn and that’s saying a lot.
And fun fact: they are the only place in Bayside with a craft cocktail program. I certainly never think of Bayside as the place to go for such things, but I’m glad to see they’re expanding their horizons in this department because the area has potential.
Here’s a few things you should know going in, especially those coming from outer boroughs without a car: it’s not super easy to get to from the LIRR. You’d have to take a bus down which is a quick ride, but maybe a little confusing if you’re a duncecap with directions like I am. It’s also in the upper level of a shopping center, BUT DO NOT LET THAT FOOL YOU. Great food is happening in here and you need to trust me on that.
Allora Kitchen & Bar
- Nonna’s Meatballs (beef & pork meatballs, Sunday “gravy”, whipped ricotta, breadcrumbs). These were amazing.
- Octopus (three bean salad, lemon, yogurt)
- Rigatoni (vodka sauce, whipped ricotta, prosciutto)
- Capanelli (housemade italian sausage, broccoli rabe, chili flake)
- Rustic Bulgur Salad (pomegranates, dried apricots, raisins, tomato, cucumber, smoked almonds, onion, red wine vinaigrette)
- Mussels (spicy tomato broth, roasted garlic, grilled country bread)
- Margherita Pizza (fresh mozz, plum tomato, basil)
- Detroit Style Square Vodka Pie (vodka sauce, pancetta)
- Chicken Francese (crispy capers, lemon butter, linguine)
- Apple Napoleon (apples, cinnamon, pistachio ice cream, pistachios)
- Maple Cinnamon Bun (maple syrup, cinnamon, pecans, vanilla ice cream)
- Smores Pizza (Nutella, toasted marshmallows, cannoli crumbles)