San Diego, CA

Allegro - New Authentic Italian Restaurant in Little Italy, Downtown San Diego

Dinh Lee

Allegro is a new authentic Italian restaurant that just opened in Little Italy of Downtown San Diego a couple of months ago. Allegro is inspired by Sicilian cuisine and combines traditional Sicilian recipes and flavors with the ingredients and cooking styles of California. The ingredients they use are both locally sourced and imported globally, namely from Italy itself. Their seafood is locally sourced and their pasta is always hand-made and fresh during the day to ensure the best quality. They also offer a wide variety of different types of pasta as well as unique vegan and gluten-free options for those who have dietary restrictions but still want to enjoy traditional Italian food.

Before we start talking about the food, I want to mention how beautiful the restaurant itself is. The outdoor dining area is quite open and is filled with beautiful tables and chairs. The inside of the restaurant is very elegant and has a European kind of feeling to it. But the area that blew me away the most would have to be a section connected to the restaurant that has an open airway but still has a roof over your head with plenty of windows for some natural light. The decoration and arrangement in this area is absolutely stunning with a beautiful neon sign of their restaurant name and a lovely ceiling with lots of greenery hanging off of it (ceilings are very high so the greenery is not close to you whatsoever) as well as lemons as decoration. The tables and chairs were cohesive and beautiful as well. Overall, the restaurant itself was great in providing a lovely dining experience.

Now let's talk about the food since that's probably what we're all here for. First and foremost, I must talk about their pasta, which is their specialty. I tried their Parmigiano cheese wheel pasta which is where they make the pasta dish inside of an age cheese wheel in front of you by your table and they serve it to you immediately after making it. This dish is an absolute must when you visit Allegro and is one of their signatures that people really look forward to. The pasta is based on the chef's selection for the day, however, I'm sure they are willing to consider your personal likes and dislikes as well. This meal has a minimum requirement of two people and is based on the market price for the day. It may not look like much on the plate, however, I assure you that it is actually quite filling, especially if you've had an appetizer or two beforehand. I think that this dish is definitely worth the experience, especially because they add a generous amount of black truffle on top, and we all know how pricey that can be. The cheesiness of the pasta is uncomparable and you can tell that it is legitimate Parmigiano from the cheese wheel they scrape the cheese off of but also from the strong, rich flavor of the dish which is so addicting. Their pasta is, of course, top tier and very fresh indeed. It is cooked perfectly with the perfect texture and it is truly a great experience overall.

Next, I want to talk about some of their appetizers. First off is their truffle burrata Caprese salad which is pretty simple in terms of composition and ingredients, but very delicious regardless. Their burrata is imported from Italy and they say that they spend more money on the shipping fees than the actual product, which is crazy! But I do think it is worth it because their burrata is not the kind you would find at the majority of restaurants that serve burrata. Burrata in America is typically made of cream with a mozzarella filling, however, Italian burrata has a different texture. It has much more of a stringy and creamy texture as it has more of a mix of mozzarella and cream rather than majority cream. All in all, this was great as an appetizer and a great and simple way to enjoy and try burrata.

Lastly, we also tried their zucchini blossoms which are made in a tempura-style with ricotta and housemade fig jam. This is quite a unique dish and I can't say I've had or seen this anywhere else, so it was definitely new for us. The crispiness of the fried zucchini is quite nice with the softer inside with the ricotta in it. It comes with a fig jam which adds a bit of sweetness to the dish and it really worked together. I wouldn't say this is the best appetizer I've ever had and I don't think I would order it again to be frank, but in terms of taste, it was good and I enjoyed it while I ate it.

Allegro doesn't only offer cheese wheel pasta, they have many other pasta options that are priced per plate and do not come with any minimum requirements. Their menu is actually quite extensive with a wide variety of options from steaks to fish to pork chops.

They are currently participating in Restaurant Week along with several other San Diego restaurants. This means that they have a special menu for the event which comes at a discounted price and allows you to try some of their signature dishes. The event, unfortunately, ends tomorrow, April 18th, so head on over as soon as possible if you want to take advantage of these deals!

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Join me on my quest to eat at all the best restaurants in town and around the world! Follow me on Instagram @sanfoodiego for more food recs.

San Diego, CA

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