(photo credit: PR)
Located in the heart of Ben- Gurion Street in Tel Aviv, Allora gives you the feeling of being in Rome. The interior design is much like the restaurant itself – classy, warm and Italian-style, yet modern. A bar functions as the centerpiece of the restaurant, and customers can sit there for a quick drink or at one of the surrounding tables. My dining partner and I sat on the charming porch, with a pleasant breeze and a great view of Ben-Gurion’s interesting traffic – both pedestrian and vehicular.
Much of the menu is seasonal and local. It is varied, consisting of homemade pasta, seafood and meat, as well as vegetarian items.
No one will go away hungry here.
The short, well-planned beverage menu features Israeli and Italian wines and interesting cocktails of classic Italian flavor.
Our meal opened with some fantastic starters. The crispy focaccia (NIS 18) was well seasoned with sea salt, fresh oregano, olive oil and garlic – perfect for dipping into the three enticing spreads served alongside. Two were tapenades, one of pickled lemon and the other Kalamata olives, both tasty if not ground-breaking.
This was followed by the rump carpaccio (NIS 48). It was comprised of intensely lemonaccented ruffles of thinly sliced raw meat, strewn with grated Parmesan and arugula leaves – both equally full-flavored ingredients that balanced the dish. It titillated our senses, leaving us giddy for what was to come.
Next up was the shepherd salad (NIS 54), comprised of spinach, rocket, basil, radishes, artichokes, tomatoes, olives and mozzarella. It was tasty and refreshing. The balance of flavor, the amount of seasoning, the portion – everything was great.
The Italian exploration continued with the truffle Alfredo pizza (NIS 62). The pizza was exceptional, among the best in Tel Aviv – a far cry from the olive, corn and tunatopped trash that has unfortunately become standard fare in Israel. It had a perfect base, a good ratio of tomato sauce to cheese and topping, and it was delicious.
Seemingly a lot of food at this point, it was too tasty to notice, and our stomachs begged for more. We obliged with the spaghetti Bolognese (NIS 58), made with whole wheat pasta. The dish was first rate. The sauce was delicious and super rich, while the noodles were perfectly cooked with just enough bite and chew.
Last, we were presented with the veal lasagna (NIS 62). Like anything baked, it’s all about proportions.
The amount of pasta to sauce to meat was perfect. We both dug in, and all conversation ceased. The portions are so big, that we both didn’t even make a dent when we stopped eating. The majority of that dish was taken home.
We ordered hot drinks and took another breather. Then came dessert. We opted for the heavenly creme brulée (NIS 34). The burnt sugar topping cracked just right! There’s nothing more disappointing than getting this dessert, going to crack the surface and... the spoon goes in as it would into a bowl of overpriced pudding. What a moodkiller! So thank goodness, Allora was able to finish off our dinner with dessert done correctly. Now, don’t get me wrong, the dense rich flavor of the homemade cheesecake (NIS 34) was also a delight...but still, all I can think about is that delectable creme brulée confection!! If you’re looking for an uberquaint Italian experience to whisk you away from your daily worries, Allora may well be the place.The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
39 Ben-Gurion St., Tel Aviv
Tel: (03) 566-5655