I’ve written a little bit about Alor Pasta before, but this place is most definitely deserving of its own post. Congratulations, Alor Pasta, for earning my first and only five star rating in Staten Island; you’ve done it!
Justin and I have been frequenting Alor Pasta since August, and it has quickly become a weekly must have for us. I’ll be honest, the place isn’t much to look at. It’s located in a small and cramped strip mall on the busy corner of New Dorp Lane and Hylan Boulevard. The first time Justin and I walked past, while the menu seemed interesting, we opted out of actually going in to eat: it kind of looks like a pizzeria from the outside, with bar seating and the kitchen area in the front and then a medium sized dining area in back. But it is cool to see the pasta being made in the window, and the simple (almost unfinished looking) decor is something that I’ve come to appreciate as my love of the place has grown and matured. When Justin and I finally did decide to give the place a shot (who can really resist homemade pasta for too long?) we were pleasantly and outrageously surprised. The staff is friendly, the service is great, and the food – most importantly, of course – is absolutely incredible.
What constitutes a five star rating, I’ve decided, is when a place is so amazingly good that introducing people to it is exciting and necessary to me. It’s almost like I’m personally impressing people by having located such a foodie gem. So far I’ve recommended Alor Pasta to many, many people and have brought family, coworkers, and friends to try it – I’ll take any excuse to get to go eat there, myself.
The menu is the perfect size, offering two soups, a handful of salads and flatbreads, and then a nice focus on the pasta. Having been to the place many times, now, I’ve had the distinct opportunity to try almost everything on the menu. There are a few stragglers that I’m still looking forward to. Pictures are all below, although there are some dishes that I missed photographing (I guess that means that I’ll just have to try them again). First, the pita-like flatbread that they bring out while you scan the menu is awesome: don’t be shy with the garlic, as it is gloriously salty and flavorful. There were some dishes, like the gemelli and egg noodles, that I was hesitant to try, and I only regretted waiting so long to taste their unusual and exciting flavors. The gemelli’s beer braised beef brisket is so insanely good, and is balanced perfectly with the simple buttery sauce – I may have to place a take-out order for it now after describing it. The kale salad was something that Justin and I tried on our very first visit; we have ordered it every single time we’ve gone since then: the croutons are delicious, and the anchovy/cheesiness of the salad is so distinct, strong, and addictive. Both of the soups were outstanding – something I’ll probably want more of now that gross cold weather is arriving. I preferred the corn chowder and Justin preferred the three bean, so it’s a split decision for a soup favorite. As for the flatbreads, you should really try them all. Personal favorites are numbers 1 (mushroom roast, chorizo, chili flakes and parmesan) and 2 (gruyere cheese, ricotta, onion jam, and prosciutto), although the others did not disappoint.
Justin and I have ordered take out with was speedy and still, somehow, just as delicious as in the restaurant. But we prefer to eat-in because of the holy-moly-amazing weekly specials they have, some of which are pictured below like the roasted red pepper tortellini, sweet and sour red snapper, or pasta ribbons with pumpkin and squash, to name a few. They’ve also had several braised short rib specials which were ridiculously good, too. For my absolute favorite pasta dishes from the regular menu, I would list (and this is so, so hard to do) the pappardelle, gemelli, gnocchi, and egg noodles – each of them is so unique and weird and perfect in their own way. Justin sticks to the orecchiette as his all time favorite. Based on my experience, a few dishes that I would probably not order again (not that they were bad, but the others are just so much better) are the bucatini and cavatelli.
And oh, how about dessert: we’ve tried them all. The fried spaghetti and chocolate raviolis were our first choices, but, as it turned out, the cake donuts and espresso soaked cake are our favorites. Seriously – save room and try them both. To drink, we always go with their bottle of Pinot Noir; they also have beer available, but no open bar… wine does the trick every time.
Justin and I now frequent the place on a weekly basis, for fear of missing an amazing special, and also for fear of actual withdrawals. The prices are great, and the portions are nice; we always have lunch leftover for the next day. Everyone I’ve brought here has raved about it, too – even my very, very hard to impress father complimented the entire staff as we walked out after our meal. So, again, congratulations to Alor Pasta – five star Baconboozer ratings are hard to come by, but you’ve done it with your consistently impressive and delicious food.