Monday, November 21, 2011

Andaloro's Ristorante in Willowick

A few years back when my fiancee was living in Eastlake, we noticed an Italian restaurant in a plaza along Lakeshore Blvd.  It was sort of hidden because it was in such a large plaza. We decided to give the restaurant a try since we are always looking for our next favorite Italian restaurant.  We were not disappointed and I've wanted to back for nearly two years!  Finally, this past weekend we made our way back to Andaloro's Ristorante to see if things were as good as we remembered.

Our meal started out with fresh toasted Italian bread and a dipping sauce that was made of roasted red peppers, olive oil, and parsley.   I could have made a meal out of bread and this sauce!  I love the addition of the roasted red peppers to the standard olive oil because it added another layer of richness and flavor!
All pasta dishes also come with a side salad.   The house dressing is sort of a take on a balsamic and was very good.  I also really liked the use of fresh greens for the salad instead of iceberg or romaine.
My fiancee decided to go Spaghetti Carbonara.  This dish featured pancetta tossed with egg, black pepper,  and Romano cheese in a cream sauce.  The cream sauce used in the dish was well seasoned, while the pancetta added just a touch of texture to the properly cooked pasta.  The dish was very enjoyable but be prepared to take some home!
I ordered the Pasta alla Diavola.  This pasta was served with spicy hot peppers, fresh tomato sauce, and fresh parsley.  The pasta itself was cooked perfectly al dente.  The tomato sauce was good, but because of the hot peppers it was hard to get a true sense of the sauce's flavor. I really enjoyed the added punch of spice from the peppers and would rate this a 6/10 in terms heat, 10 being ghost chili hot!
Overall, we were pleased with our meal and the pricing.  Our food total for the evening was only $24 and we had food left over to take home with us.  I look forward to going back and trying a few other dishes, and I'd rate this Italian food a 3.75/5.

The restaurant does have a full bar in the back, but we did not get a chance to explore the drink options.   We did however get to see the wine list.  The wine list wasn't extravagant, but it did offer at least a few options of Red and White that are sure to please everyone but the wine connoisseur.  My fiancee enjoyed a $6 glass of Chianti.  I decided to pass on beverages for the evening since we were going to Willoughby Brewing Company after dinner to meet some friends.

When we arrived, we were kindly greeted and taken to a table by the door.  My fiancee asked if we could sit away from the door because of the cold and we were escorted to the table of her choice.  When were seated, our waitress came over promptly to go over the menu and to take our drink orders.   She was around all evening, but never overbearing.  Our food came out in a timely manner and it was clear that it was freshly prepared.  Friendly, knowledgeable, and prompt service is always a plus and therefore I'd give Andaloro's a 4/5 for the evening.
Andaloro's is a solid Italian Restaurant that offers good food at very reasonable prices.   The one thing that hurts them is the location.  They are off the beaten path in a plaza, but that should not scare you away from trying this Willowick restaurant!  Another plus is you can often find gift certificates for this restaurant.  In fact, we purchased a $25 gift certificate for only $2 recently.  The only sad part was we left it at home!   Oh well, I guess we'll have to go back to use it for a follow up review sometime soon!
Andaloro's Ristorante on Urbanspoon


Renee said...

You've convinced me to return to Andaloro's! It's only a mile or two from my house and we used to be regular customers of their carryout restaurant, which closed shortly after the full service restaurant opened. We've been to the restaurant once, when my cousin got a job there upon opening 2 years ago. However, the owners had no idea how to manage a full service restaurant and even the food quality wasn't what we were used to. It was disappointing and we haven't been back. However, I'm ready to give it another try! Thanks, Brad!

Dennis said...

I have been going to Andaloro's 1-3 times a month since shortly after they opened. It was the service and great food that first kept bringing me back. They have a pleasant and family friendly atmosphere. I am constantly recommending Andaloro's friends. You should try it, too.


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