Sitting in front of a perfectly presented plate of house-crafted pasta, it’s hard not to grin.
So, when news broke that Twelve Hotel Midtown’s Lobby Bar and Bistro was replaced by the Italian-fusion concept, Allora, many Atlantans have scribbled this spot on their list of must-eats.
Allora blends tried-and-true Italian classics with modern cooking techniques, implemented by Executive Chef Chris Maher, who was previously the co-executive chef at One Midtown Kitchen. The eatery is a product of Concentrics Restaurants, just as Lobby Bar and Bistro was.
But Allora is not a polished version of Lobby Bar and Bistro—it’s a completely made-over concept, complete with creative dishes to inspire drooling foodies to stop in for a taste. One part of Lobby that remains is the large circular bar, anchoring the space where bar stools with A’s on the backs now sit.
The overall vibe of this restaurant is one of rustic warmth in a modern industrial setting. It feels in-the-moment yet timeless, possibly thanks to the eye-catching open kitchen and artful plates.
Speaking of the plates… expect to eat well at Allora. Maher tells AJC.com, “My big focus is on the pastas. You’ll see a lot of infused flavors in the pasta doughs and some different things.”
Infusing pasta dough with flavor is certainly a creative pursuit, but what Maher has done with the idea is even more impressive.
“One of the dishes we did is a Cacio e Pepe,” he says, “which is a classic, and very simple. But we cracked some black pepper into the dough, and we made a Pecorino Romano cream, and took it a step further with a sous vide egg on top.”
In addition to the spirited pasta, expect more elevated takes on favorite Italian staples. Veal and ricotta meatballs with Parmesan grits is one example; another would be the grilled Wagyu flank steak. Of course, as with any Italian place worth its weight in pasta, Allora also offers made-to-order pizzas and enticing salads.
LOCATION: 361 17th Street NW, Atlanta, Georgia 30363
BREAKFAST: Mon-Sun, 6:30-11a
LUNCH: Mon-Fri, 11a-5p
DINNER: Mon-Thu + Sun, 5-11p; Fri + Sat, 5-11:30p
BRUNCH: Sat + Sun, 11a-2p