It's not The Italian Market, but then again, what is?
870 Welsh Road, Maple Glen
There are a couple things to look for when reviewing a restaurant. First, is the location convenient and enticing? For Allegro Grille, that was a check. Is the dining room atmosphere inviting? Check again. Is the staff knowledgeable and friendly? Double check here. And, finally, after all that, a good review comes down to the food. And for Allegro, although there were tasty parts of the meal, the food left something to be desired.
If Martinis are your thing head on over. With 40 different varieties such as the accurately named candy-like Milky Way and seasonal flavors such as the sweet Caramel Apple you are bound to find something to start your meal off right. In addition to the martinis, Allegro offers a full bar, an extensive wine list and regular happy hour specials.
At $8, the Bruschetta could be a meal in itself – especially after a basket of freshly baked dinner rolls also arrives at the table. A generous portion of fresh tomato salad, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, red onion and shredded Parmigiano topped six large slices of the warm and crusty dinner rolls. Although the combination of flavors was superb, the soggy interior of the bread made it seem as if this dish was made prematurely.
Entrees come with the housemade soup of the day or a salad. If it's greens you are after, go for the Caesar. It's fresh, crisp and well-dressed. For something warmer on a cold night, give the Italian wedding soup a try – every bite is packed full of Italian wedding goodness in a well-salted broth.
After the rolls, Bruschetta, soups and salads it's hard to find room for the main course. Although it came highly recommended, the Pescatore ($24.50) was a rather bland disappointment. Shrimp, scallops and clams mixed with too few herbs came in a white wine broth (not a white sauce as the menu claimed) over linguine. Although the scallops were tasty and cooked well, the sauce was surprisingly flavorless and lacking in body.
Better luck was had with the Scallopine con Funghi ($22.50). Tender scallops of veal are sautéed with mushrooms and sundried tomatoes in a rich flamed Marsala wine sauce that definitely did not lack body or in flavor. And as if more food was needed on the table, a healthy portion of pasta in a sweet homemade red sauce is served on the side.
If you are up for giving Allegro a shot take advantage of the nightly specials or stop over on a Sunday where the slightly overpriced entrees are buy one get one half off. And bring the kids, the reasonably priced Bambini menu makes feeding them a bit more of a bargain.