Fabulous Addition to Little Italy
Allegro Italian Kitchen
10767 – 95 Street
After weeks and months of the storefront tempting us with visions of pasta and sauce, Allegro has finally opened its doors! I went for lunch to check it out and was delighted with this fabulous addition to Little Italy. The atmosphere was certainly Italian: rustic decor with wooden beams and mirrors, light opera music, and about a dozen tables (with a TV in the corner that was thankfully turned off).
The luncheon menu was short and focused: a few appetizers, some salads and pasta, and a few mains. The dinner menu is a little more extensive and a full drink menu was also available.
My companion and I opted to share some calamari, insalate Allegro, and homemade cannelloni. We were treated with some crusty bread to dip in a beautiful sweet balsamic reduction and olive oil. Our server was kind enough to split our salad and appetizers onto two plates which made sharing all the more convenient. The service was attentive and polite; subtlety always being the key.
The plateful of calamari was tender, carefully presented with a light marinara-olive oil sauce, understated tomatoes, and the right blend of seasonings. Of course, I enjoyed a healthy dose of Parmesan cheese. The salad was huge. Even split, both halves were substantial. Fresh greens, firm tomatoes, crunchy pine nuts, sharp red onion, juicy raisins, and a smattering amount of feta were well balanced in texture and flavour. I’d have gone a little lighter on the dressing, but it was certainly delicious, unifying the entire bowl.
While the salad and calamari would have been sufficient for lunch, one can’t fully appreciate Italian cooking without some pasta. The two big pieces of cannelloni were homemade as evidenced by the varying thickness of each piece. (The thinner ones were better.) The marinara sauce was full of tomato flavour and rather spicy. The Alfredo sauce was rich and thick, complemented by firm, fresh mushrooms. With apologies to vegetarians, I found the ground sausage gave the dish that additional flavour and texture to make it fully complete.
For the two of us, the tab about about 50 dollars. Considering how much we ate, that was quite reasonable. A dish each would have been plenty. I’m happy that Allegro is now more than a storefront. The delicious cuisine is a perfect fit for Little Italy, both for locals and guests to our neighbourhood.
John lives in Boyle Street.