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Entries in Allora Ristorante (1)

Friday
Sep232011

Allora Ristorante

Allora Ristorante

139 Lakeside Avenue (Rt 20)
Marlborough, MA
(508) 485-4300

The email was innocuous:

Just finished reading Gary Kelley’s review of Tomasso. Sad that we were not mentioned as an alternative, being right down the road from them. Maybe he’d like to review us?   Jameson Mello, Allora

The answer was simple.  Via I-495, Allora is 9 mins or 7.37 miles from Tomasso.  While there are back roads to get there, anytime I hop on I-495 I might as well head to Boston. 

Irrational?  Perhaps.  But it sounds more reasoned than, “Hmm, I haven’t been to Allora in a while.”

I have been to Allora a few times before, including back in 2007 when they opened.  What I’ve always liked about Allora is the outside deck Where are you? Marlborough MAoverlooking Williams Lake in Marlborough.  Loving the water, it’s hard to find a better local restaurant overlooking a lake (I miss Foggy’s overlooking Lake Chauncy, but I digress.)

So I added Allora to my “must review” list and headed over after work one evening.  A former coworker and good friend Cindy agreed to attend with only minimal arm twisting.

We got to the restaurant as the sun was beginning to set, and the temperature was a falling 65 degrees.  Hmm, not a good night to sit on the deck. 

Entering the restaurant, we were immediately hit with the scent of fresh paint and carpet.  In fact, some benches located just inside the door were sporting “wet paint” signs.

We were quickly seated and greeted by our server Deanna, a delightful young woman well equipped to walk us through the menu.  She’s one of these people we were comfortable having a nice conversation with about the restaurant.

They are doing a modest renovation, and the paint and carpet are the first signs.  Everything was clean and bright….even in the windowless main dining room.

We learned the email writer, Jameson Mello, is the Executive Chef, and a bit of a “food nerd,” in a very positive way.  He has passion for his food, and Deanna let it drop Jameson is going to be more cheese aging onsite.

The Allora menu is extensive in Italian and Mediterranean, although Deanna was very persuasive in “sharing” the specials. 

We started with an appetizer of the Duck Bruschetta.  Duck is prepared as a “prosciutto.”  This is placed on homemade mozzarella with peppers on a crostini.   The duck didn’t taste ducky, and wasn’t salty…in other words the appetizer was very good.

Our entrees were each unique and very enjoyable.

The generous portion of (pork) Osso Buco was presented over saffron risotto milanese with parsley, lemon and roasted tomato gremolata.  While the meat was prepared to perfection, the risotto could have been an entrée onto itself.

Cindy’s “Fruitti Di Mare” was made with shrimp, scallops, calamari, clams, mussels, spicy cherry peppers in marinara with linguini.  Cindy was particularly pleased with the texture of the scallops.

There were plenty of each entrée for take home, and lunch the next day.

Two decaf cappuccinos were a perfect nightcap, and were presented in a manner Starbucks (Fourbucks?) could emulate.

We split a crème brule for desert.  While everything else had been excellent, the desert was simply “OK.”

Hours

Monday-Friday: 11:30am-11:00pm
Saturday: 4:00pm-11:00pm
Sunday: 4:00pm-9:00pm

Prices were a bit high for Marlborough, with Osso Buco coming in at $33, and Fruttie Di Mare priced at $35.  The total bill for two was $133.88 including some adult beverages.

Overall, we wouldn’t compare Allora to Tomasso.  We would compare Allora to the North End of Boston, without the drive.  Since you still get on a freeway, you can even get the Boston drive feel, only going two exits to route 20 and then heading east.  Allora is on the left.

The food was great, the new paint/carpet was fresh, and Deanna is delightful.  A perfect evening.

Allora gets a GREEN LIGHT…go and enjoy.

By the way, Cindy insisted on pictures of our food, included with the review.  I have not been including food pictures, as I find the pictures don’t fairly represent the food (I’m not a food stylist.)  Please let me know if you would like to see more food pictures.

About the RAG scale:

       Green Light – Go and enjoy

       Amber Light – Use caution

       Red Light – Save your time and money