Alobar is a rustic American restaurant hidden away in LIC, which I’ll be the first to admit, I was always afraid of venturing out to. The restaurant is one stop away from Manhattan off of the 7 train, so it’s closer than one would think . When you step through the doors of Alobar you’ll immediately be surprised that the space is as large as it is since it appears to be a tiny storefront. You’re immediately transformed to an old school industrial New York era, which is achieved by the comforting decor. The hostess sat us in one of the cozy booths in the back, where we were able to watch all the action occurring in the exposed kitchen.
What I liked about Alobar is that they do not have an ordinary menu, which alone should draw foodies from all over the Metropolitan Area. They specialize in pig dishes and actually serve a different cut of the animal each night. Alobar strives to use locally sourced ingredients and to not let any portion of an animal go to waste, which is evident by the offered dishes. We checked out the menu online, but the restaurant changes their menu seasonally as they see fit, so there were a couple surprises upon our arrival.
For very necessary after work drinks, I opted for the LIC Lemonade, which consisted of vodka, candied lemon and clove honey. My friend chose the super addicting Vernon Smash, which was comprised of Bourbon, blackberries, mint and ginger beer. Not a combination I would’ve tried for any other reason, but it was delicious.
For starters, we began with the Roasted Bone Marrow with Blue Cheese Croutons, red wine, snail butter and smoked salt, (my first time having it!), Maple Bacon Popcorn, and Cheese Mac & Cheese “Carbonara” with a four cheese blend, pancetta, and truffle braised egg. While I couldn’t fully appreciate the bone marrow since it just seemed like a fatty consistency to me, I could appreciate the fact that the menu said blue cheese croutons and we were served large pieces of toasted country bread! My friend said that the dish was well prepared with the snail butter, and the fact that it was paired with served with blue cheese made it stand out from preparations at other restaurants.
The maple popcorn tasted a little well done to us, but then we realized the popcorn probably needed to be that dense to hold together after being topped with maple syrup and thick pieces of bacon. Honestly, I would’ve been happy with just a big slab of the bacon, but the combination was still a great snack. Lastly, we couldn’t put our forks down until all of the macaroni & cheese was gone! It was perfectly al dente, and as apprehensive I was that the pasta was orecchiette and not traditional macaroni, my fears were gone as my palate was more than sufficiently satiated.
To accompany our meals, I wanted to try the Bacon Bourbon Whiskey Sour, with bacon infused Bulleit, egg white and maple syrup. Word to the wise, this drink is not for the faint of heart since you can taste the ingredients, unlike the lighter Vernon Smash. The dish was also garnished with a nice delectable piece of bacon, which also made it stand out. My friend chose a glass of white wine from the impressive wine list, which she said she usually does not seen sold by the glass in other restaurants.
For a main course, I opted for the Daily Market Fish special, which was Wild Sea Bass with a bed of arugula and corn puree, while my friend chose the Kentucky Friend Rabbit, with braised cabbage, hash browns and red eye gravy since it sounded different. The fish was everything I wanted it to be. It was light but crispy on the skin, and the arugula over a corn puree was a perfect compliment to the dish.
While the Kentucky Fried Rabbit seemed a little heavy to be served in summer, my friend thought the batter it was prepared in was delicious and it did not take away from the juiciness of the meat inside. Her one regret is that she didn’t try the Roast Pig dish that Tim, our super cute British waiter, had suggested. This is their specialty dish and it changes daily.
After all that food, it was tough, but we made room for dessert. I chose to have the Vanilla Panna Cotta, with raspberry fruit compote and hazelnut brittle, while my friend opted for the Fluffernutter with Belgian chocolate, melted marshmallow and peanut butter. My dessert was very light, which is perfect for the weather we’ve been having. The dish is divided into three mini gels, which is perfect for sharing, but I wish it would’ve been more solidified when it was served to the table, which could’ve been due to being out of the fridge for just a tad too long or not having enough time to set, but overall it was tasty.
The surprise delight was the Fluffernutter, since the flavors all mixed really well together. The one quip my friend had was that she wished the sandwich was served on something a little more dense than two slices of white bread, which made it taste more like a breakfast dish than anything else.
What we learned from the night is that the restaurant does pig well in all its’ forms. From the bacon in the popcorn, to the pancetta in the mac & cheese, to the bacon in my drink, ever piece was cooked perfectly. We will be back to finish the job and will try the roast pig cut of the day next time in addition to anything else that may change on the menu.
The restaurant hosts “Whiskey Tuesdays,” “100 Mile Dinners,” and this Thursday, August 9th, they will host their monthly beer dinner at 5:30 PM featuring Stoudts Brewery of Pennsylvania, including a 5-course dinner curated by Chef Ian Kapitan paired with 5 beers by Beverage Manager Chess Lankford for $50 per person excluding tax & gratuity. $10 flights of beer will also be offered. For more information or to book a reservation, please call (718)-752-6000.
46-42 Vernon Blvd
between 46th Rd. and 47th Ave
Long Island City, New York 11101