Omnivore - Allegro opens in Midtown

Do you like traffic? If not, don't go to the new Allegro (404-888-1890) at 8 p.m. The Italian restaurant is at the end of Dutch Valley Road. It's bad enough that One Midtown Kitchen is across the street, but at 8 p.m. the Alcoholics Anonymous clubhouse on the same street hosts a meeting. It's traffic hell. There's valet parking, of course, but just getting to it can be difficult at that hour.

Once you do get a table at Allegro, you'll likely be pleased with your meal. The new central Italian restaurant's kitchen is headed by Jose Rego, formerly with Sotto Sotto and Fritti. We started with a plate of burrata — fresh mozzarella and cream — with tomatoes (top photo). That was followed by a plate of paccheri with speck, guanciale and roasted cauliflower in a very light cream sauce with pecorino (above).

We selected one fish entree — halibut with roasted peppers, capers and wild oregano in a seafood broth, conveniently absorbed by a slice of bread under the fish (immediately above). We also ordered grilled chicken topped with prosciutto and fontina cheese, served with ratatouille, polenta and asparagus (right).

The only one of these dishes that was a bit problematic was the chicken — too dry for my taste. Desserts, I'm sorry to say, weren't impressive. A fluffy limoncello "tiramisu" was tasty enough but left me craving the real thing. Zuppa inglese was better but unattractively served in what looked like a drug-store lunch-counter goblet.

I'll have a full review in next week's paper. That's not this week's paper, which comes out Wednesday, but the following Wednesday.

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