Monday, July 30, 2012

Hearty and Happy at Alobar Long Island City

By: Finance Foodie

When I was living in Manhattan four years ago, my first thought on a Friday night usually was not, "Hmmm, I think I'll go to Long Island City for dinner." Fast forward to present time and my thoughts have changed. Long Island City over the last few years has really developed into a destination that, dare I say, is kinda cool and worthy of a Friday night. A walk down Vernon Avenue, the main strip, and one will find cute bistros and hip bars with an equally trendy crowd.

One of the aforementioned cool kids on Vernon Ave is Alobar, a Modern American bistro known for its use of seasonal local ingredients and nose to tail cuisine. I paid a visit to this joint last Saturday night and was impressed by this hidden gem's eclectic menu. I started my meal off with a wild mushroom toast ($10) topped with smoked ricotta cheese, a roasted garlic duck egg and red onions. When the plate came out, I had to confirm that this was an appetizer cause the portion was easily entree worthy. The dish itself was fantastic - and reminded me of a savory French toast. It was super hard to keep from eating the entire plate - I had to constantly remind myself that I still had a full evening ahead. 
Wild Mushroom Toast
For my entree I ordered the "Today's Roast Pig" ($24) aka the chef's special choice - which turned out to be a pan fried pork belly filet served on top a white bean, pea, leek, and roasted tomato salad, glazed with a port jus. This was another excellent dish - the pork belly was juicy, tender and was hearty without feeling excessively fatty. The lightness of the veggie salad also complemented the richness of the pork belly quite nicely. 
Today's Roast Pig - Pork Belly
Along with my entree, I also sampled a small portion of the Mac and Cheese Carbonara entree ($17). I kinda wished I ordered the full sized plate because this was the best mac and cheese I've had so far in NY! The four cheese blend was perfectly melted into the al dente pasta shells and the chopped pancetta provided a nice salty bite to the plate. However, the real standout was the truffled braised egg that topped the dish. Paired with the boldness of the cheese, pasta and pancetta - the egg was the icing on the cake that made this entree one indulgent trip. 
Mac and Cheese
I had already consumed a lot of meat, cheese and butter, but I always save 10% of my stomach for dessert. The warm walnut pie ($10) topped with vanilla gelato was the ideal way to end the meal. I've always preferred walnut pie to the traditional pecan - the latter tends to leave a slightly bitter aftertaste - so I was uber glad this option was on the menu. 
Walnut Pie
All and all, if you are looking for a indulgent splurge that is only unfriendly to the waistline (the restaurant is very reasonably priced for the quality of the food), look no further than Alobar! 

46-42 Vernon Avenue 
Long Island City, NY 11101
(718) 752-6000 
Alobar on Urbanspoon

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