(Last UPDATED 6/8/19) Description and review of lunch at Allora, a newish modern Italian seafood restaurant located on Folsom Blvd. in East Sacramento. The brick building, which housed Rust Florist for many years, has been very tastefully remade into a modern and contemporary space.
Three friends and I recently had a delightful lunch at Allora. Two of us took advantage of the 2018 Savor East Sac participating offer – a Three Course Lunch Special: choice of soup/salad, an entrée plus a scoop of homemade gelato or sorbetto ($18). Our other two dining companions ordered from the regular lunch menu.
See related blog post: Savor East Sac 2018
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I arrived a bit early as I was unsure how parking was in the vicinity. There is a handicapped parking space in the very small parking lot in back of the building, as well as one other parking spot where, I was told, the owner parks. So street parking is essentially what is available.
The interior of Allora is most attractive, featuring front and center an impressive 22 foot high tall wine cellar. The striking upholstered chairs and bar stools are a beautiful, rich emerald green.
I had made reservations a week in advance for four, requesting outdoor patio seating. As it turns out we had the patio to ourselves as it was an unusually hot, muggy day. Tiny bits of ash drifted onto our table from the multiple fires currently ravaging Northern California – but by the time we noticed the ash we were all settled in and stayed where we were.
The patio is very attractive – umbrellas provide shade, there are overhead string lights that I imagine are very pretty at night, and multiple stacked window boxes are filled with flowers and herbs that are used in the kitchen.
The Three Course Lunch Special offered a choice of:
- Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho (bay shrimp, olio verde) or a Little Gem Salad (anchovy, parmesan, cured egg)
- Tonno Tartine (pole beans, cherry tomato, greens) or Cavatelli (sausage, summer squash, parmesan)
- Gelato or Sorbetto (seasonal flavors)
The two of us having the Three Course Lunch Special chose the Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho to start – and we were both very glad that we had. The gazpacho had a bit of a kick – and every bite was savored. It was also quite filling.
My friend ordered the Cavatelli pasta with sausage and summer squash. The pasta was in a brown sauce, and the dish was said to definitely be on the spicy side – but it was very tasty.
I ordered the Tonno Tartine which was described as an open-faced sandwich. A thick slice of crusty bread had been topped with aioli and about ¼ inch thick slices of tuna steak topped with greens. I had my choice of a side and chose a side salad.
The Tonno Tartine was not the easiest thing to eat given the thickness of the crusty bread. While I enjoyed what I ate, the aioli effectively masked the flavor of the tuna. The lightly-dressed side salad was delish.
The friends ordering from the regular lunch menu decided to start with a glass of wine. Our server was knowledgeable about the wine list and was happy to make recommendations when asked. Both friends were extremely pleased with the wines she recommended.
To start, our dining companions decided to share the Insalata Caprese (local peaches, heirloom tomatoes, burrata, lavosh) ($18). For the main course one ordered the house made Fettucine (short rib ragu, tomato, garlic gremolata) ($22) and the other the Risotto Del Giorno ($17).
When the Insalata Caprese was served it was obvious that the heirloom tomatoes were at their peak of perfection. Simply dressed with a drizzle of olive oil, the juices of the tomatoes and peaches combined to make the salad a taste treat.
The risotto was said to be delicious, and the fettucine with short rib ragu was given the highest of praise as it was declared to be on par with Biba’s!
To finish the meal three of us had dessert. As the third course of the $18 lunch special we ordered the strawberry gelato and lemon sorbetto. Another friend, who was in the mood for chocolate, ordered the Panna Cotta (chocolate, espresso, marscapone) ($9). All three desserts were excellent and a fitting end to the meal.
As we enjoyed dessert we all agreed that the quality of the ingredients, the presentation of the dishes, and the friendly and helpful staff combined to make lunch that day at Allora a delightful experience.
(UPDATED 9/19/2018) Allora co-owner Elizabeth Rose Mandalou was named as one of the top five Best New Sommeliers of 2018 in the United States by Wine & Spirits Magazine, October issue.
Mandalou became a certified sommelier in 2013 and passed the three-day advanced sommelier exam last summer. She is just the third (to date) Sacramentan to do so.
(UPDATED 6/8/19) Allora has been awarded a L’Assiette Michelin or Michelin Plate in the 2019 Michelin Guide California. The Michelin Plate designation means that Allora has been found to have “quality food.”
(UPDATED 1/8/19) Allora has announced new winter hours (effective January 13) . Allora will now be open on Sunday and Monday for dinner – in other words – Allora will be open for dinner seven night a week!
- 5215 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95819
- (916) 538-6434
- Dinner (Sunday-Thursday) 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.; (Friday & Saturday) 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
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