Good food takes time.
Great food takes a lot of time.
Excellent food takes about six months.
Alobar opened on Vernon Boulevard after months of the usual batch of roadblocks faced by new restaurants in every corner of the city. During that tenuous time, residents would regularly peek in and examine the fully decorated space – cries of, “when, by God, when?!” could be heard as far as the Gantries.
The LIC community is one that craves originality. Run-of-the-mill joints like Dunkin Donuts or Subway can come in, stake a claim and probably do respectable business. However, such establishments will be ridiculed on blogs, roundly shunned by the majority of neighborhood regulars and criticized by know-it-all journalists.
We know what we want in our lives and in our gaping maws. We want effort, we want succulence, we want innovation – and at Alobar we get what we want.
The restaurant gives eaters something new and creative each and every visit, with quality ingredients that come from less than 200 miles away. The freshness is evident and that fact slaps you in the face the moment the first dish arrives.
Alobar’s Charcuterie comes as either a small or large plate – order the large, you won’t regret it. This appetizer revs the salivary glands with a veritable butcher’s list of choice cuts including spicy and sweet salamis, Virginia prosciutto, guanciale, duck rilette and foie gras with white truffle mousse. A word of caution: the guanciale, a cut from the pig’s cheeks or jowls, will make your knees weak.
Post-cheese plate, check out Alobar’s small plates. Of course “small” is a relative term here, as these dishes are huge in flavor and ingredients. In this section, the wise eater will grab the wild mushroom toast. This dish might become your favorite food – not your favorite item on the menu, but your favorite food, period. The toast is stacked and mingles perfectly with smoked ricotta, roasted garlic, red wine onions and topped with, of all things, a duck egg.
From now on, I propose we top EVERYTHING with a duck egg, as it adds a certain richness and buttery texture to this dish. Oh, and the toast is swimming in a bacon gastrique – it’s like a breakfast Einstein would have come up with.
Other small plates include pumpkin risotto, little neck clams and roasted bone marrow with snail butter – order it and find out.
Before the entrees come out, let’s examine the “Snacks & Sides” section of the menu. When you see the words Amish Pig Tails, you might think bite-sized morsels of chewy pig parts. Wrong. These tails are big, fatty and meaty – slathered in barbecue sauce, they taste like the greatest pork ribs anyway, anytime.
As for those entrees, Alobar’s menu features so many enticing options that choosing one might give you brain freeze. Don’t fret, order the roasted pig and reassure yourself that there will be many more visits. The roasted pig is a delicious cross section of dark and white meat, with a cap of fat and crisp skin. This succulent beauty rests atop cheddar risotto and is accompanied by Kentucky fried apples.
Other dishes to come back for include braised short ribs, braised octopus and oxtail, mac and cheese carbonara, smoked salmon filet, organic roasted chicken and a burger taken to a whole other level.
Alobar’s cocktails should be a constant throughout the meal, as they have something for lightweights to heavyweights and everyone in between. They also have an impressive wine list and a collection of beers that do not cater to the likes of Anheuser-Busch.
The restaurant is also open for lunch and brunch, featuring tweaked versions of dinner options, along with a few exclusive items. I already have plans for a weekend brunch visit.
Alobar is a top shelf restaurant with unforgettable food, wonderful décor and a staff of pleasant and knowledgeable professionals. Listen to this reviewer, follow your stomach and get yourself to Alobar for a meal among friends.
46-42 Vernon Boulevard
LIC, NY 11101