Getting reservations a week in advance these days is not as difficult as it once was. Gotta look at the silver lining in every situation. I made reservations for six a week in advance at Allegretti and we went last night.
As my friend suspected, Allegretti had replaced Arrezo ( which I also liked ). I must note that we drank a serious amount of wine and at one point, anything does taste good so I am going to attest to the first course more than the second.
There are a few things that I really like about Allegretti. First of all, the place was hopping and the service was great. It is an adult restaurant. Meaning that I did not notice any hipsters in the 20/30 year range. I admit, I do like the hipster restaurants but this was a nice change of pace. We went with old friends which is always nice too. There are very few places like this downtown. There are many on the upper east side but downtown this type of restaurant is few and far between.
We drank white and we drank red. I stick to white these days. Red does not work well with my sleeping patterns, alas. For the first course, I went with the beet salad. Deconstructed and delicious. Lots of different things happening on a long white rectangular plate but all good. Roasted heirloom beets, thin slices of pear, 2 deep fried talleggio cheese balls, mache and a light black truffle vinaigrette around the plate. Light, simple and delicious. Some people had the langoustines which were really good too. Pan seared and served with crispy sweetbreads, pancetta and pieces of asparagus. The porchetta was also a winner. Pork over a lentil salad and a hunk of bread with onion marmalade.
Somewhere during this course we were all served bread rolls that looked like ruggelah but this was rolled up with a pumpkin filling and savory. Interesting.
Next courses were mixed. Two people had the boar which was a tad dry but still good. The stuffed savoy cabbage was the best part of that plate. Pheasant served with brussels sprouts was interesting and a hearty winter entree. My friend sitting next to me went with the farro. She loves farro but is weird about food in general. I thought it was really delicious. Farro that had been made with cream so it was super rich, almost like a risotto with braised veal cheeks on top. She didn't dig the cheeks but I did. For my main, I went with an another appetizer. I just wasn't that hungry. Grilled scallops with shaved black truffle, shaved vegetables with Parmesan and greens. The problem, although the plate was beautiful, was that the scallops were stone cold. They brought them back and warmed them but at this point, I just gobbled them up on the return.
For dessert, a few people ordered. The chocolate cake was excellent. I ordered the fennel tarte tartin. Sounded interesting and it was. Delicious. The fennel made into a sweet tart vs savory was really clever.
All and all, a winner of an evening. Again, alcohol aside, I'd return. It was a great experience to be had with other older people, like myself.