What to order at Allison Two?
We are going to Allison Two on Saturday night to celebrate my birthday and I'm really excited. What are the best items on the menu to order? I recall that Allison at Blue Bell had great seafood dishes, plus their brussel sprout appetizer was so good?
Also, I know they are known for their yummy cocktails. I'm pregnant so cannot have any alcohol, does anyone know if they have fun non-alcoholic cocktails, or if any of their regular cocktails could easily convert to a non alcoholic version?
We went to Allision Two for dinner last night and I'm happily reporting back!
I know much has already been said about the decor but I have to reiterate that it is absolutely beautiful. The beautiful blues and yellows looked gorgeous with the summer sun setting through the windows. And the little touches like the gates from New Orleans, the light fixtures, the irridiscent tiles really were nice.
Now for the important part - the food! I went with a large group of friends and we love trying each others food so I was lucky enough to get a taste of many things. For starter I ordered the white peach salad. It was a good salad, not spectacular, but a good salad. Large portion, the greens had a nice citrus and mint going through them, topped with white peaches and feta. Very tasty, but something I could have made at home. The star appetizer was the baked gnocci and mussels that my husband ordered, I swear I ate half of his appetizer. The gnocci were fantastic, small and airy, baked with mussels in a bechamel type sauce, with a delicous earthy flavor. It had an amazing broth perfect for bread dipping. It was one of the most delicous things I have eaten in a while, if we go back I'd order it as a main. I also tried the jersey tomato gazpacho topped with mini grilled cheeses (delicous) and hush puppies (good but kind of dry).
Now for the main dishes. I orderd the scallops and gnocci (thanks for the suggestion cwdonald) and was not disappointed. Again, the gnocci was perfect (I have a weak spot for homemade gnocci), served with a huge portion of perfectly seared scallops, mushrooms, crunchy green onions, and I think a truffle foam. It was incredible. My husband had halibut with house made tagiatelle that was made with smoked tomatos so it had a really distinct smoky flavor that was very food. I also tried the snapper with the pea risotto (the risotto was great). A friend ordered the asian tuna and thought it was underseasoned.
Desserts were also great. I got a cherry cake with blackberry ice cream, carmel sauce, and fresh berries, the cake was very buttery and light, very good. I also tried the red velvet cake, chocolate peanut butter bombe, and banana foster bread pudding, all were very good.
We had drinks at the bar afterwards. I was stuck with non-alcoholic drinks and the bartender came up with some amazing choices. I told her to just think of something fun so she made me three fabulous drinks - one with cucumber, melon and mint, one with grapefruit and fresh basil, and one with watermelon and ginger beer. Each was fabulous. My friends made fun of me for drinking "shirley temples" but they were all jealous once they tried a sip. In fact, I'm not a hard liquor person, I prefer to stick with wine, and I have to say that I liked my drinks more than the "grown up" coctails my friends were drinking which to me were on the strong side.
The wine list was extensive and most options were priced at only $10 over cost. Our table ordered a few bottles of a very good California meritage that was only $45. They also have a good by the glass selection, one standout that my husband ordered was a dry Spanish rose, very fresh and not sweet at all.
Oh, and service was fantastic, from our waiter to the bartenders, everyone was helpful and attentive.
Now for the tough part, the bill, it was not a cheap night. We all ate and drank very well and once we split the bill it came to $170/couple for dinner (well over $200 a couple once you add in the after dinner drinks at the bar). It was a great night and worth it, but more of a special occasion place. I would absolutely go back for their fixed price menu and drinks/apps at the bar.
Yes, these are center city type prices. I know there is always much debate over whether the restaurants in the burbs are good enough, and I would say that Allison Two is on par with if not better than many comparably priced restaurants in the city (plus we do not have the aggravation of driving in, paying $25 for parking, etc.). Definitely worth it.
As you are a regular poster from the neighborhood I'm glad to see you're going to A2 and trust you'll report back. I can't help you with menu items as my wife and I have only had non ala carte price fix dinners there but nonetheless wanted to say we really enjoyed it.
Seafood wise they have their scallops with gnocci which are very good. I have d enjoyed the carrot ginger soup as well as the skate there. Their oyster dishes, are often good, though the preparation varies.
Dessert wise I have enjoyed both their Red Velvet cake and their Cinnamon Brioche bread pudding. These are not light desserts but definitely can satisfy a sweet tooth, and are big enough to share.
Have a wonderful dinner.