Let me start out by saying that we rarely look to dining out for Italian food. We have found that to find quality Italian worthy of spending $$ outside of our own home has been difficult to find in the Burg. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of Italian restaurants out there, but none we would seek out for a special occasion, so to speak. We have always found the New York/New Jersey establishments more to our liking....until now.
Alla Famiglia is nestled in a not so nice of a neighborhood in the Burg called Allentown. Although we were never worried, but I could see how some may feel it is out of place in it's location. There is valet parking, so need to worry about your car while dining. Now once you are inside, you will soon forget where you are.
The inside is very small and there are 3 floors where you may be seated for your meal. On this occassion, we were seated on the third floor. Way up, climbing 3 flights of stairs can work up an appetite. Once on the 3rd level however, you can enjoy some of the religious artwork and beautiful stainglass featured throughout the dining area. There were 5 tables of various sizes and the bonus was the private restroom located nearby, so you did not have to manage the steps again until you were finished with your meal.
I would also like to mention that we were dining early and although the room was rather private at first, it became QUITE loud as the evening went on and other patrons were being seated. I also think the free flowing wine helped the noise levels as the night progressed. Needless to say, we had difficulty hearing one another towards the end of the meal.
There were 5 in our party and our server was very attentive throughout the night to make sure any requests or special customizations were welcomed and met. We started our meal with the complimentary bread, dipping oils, goat cheese spread and cheese medley brought to the table. We all agreed to share the famous 12 oz stuffed meatball which was enjoyed by everyone at the table. In fact, everyone was asking for more of the wonderful sauce to accompany thier bread.
Several items are served family style and come with any of the entrees that are ordered. We were then delivered and very tasty salad tossed with a light vinegarette which included olives, nuts and cranberries. Gorgonzola was brought on the side if desired. Then the pasta with vodka sauce made it's arrival. Several mentioned that they would have just ordered this if they knew how delicious it was. And this was just the beginning....
On came the entrees, several veal dishes were ordered, as it is their signature item on the menu. Although there were also many specials offered that night, everyone seemed to gear towards the classics. I ordered the veal marsala, which was delish! It was certainly one of the best I have had. One member of our dining party ordered the special pork chop offered that was huge! Another entree ordered was the filet mignon topped with lump crab meat and gorgonzola cream sauce. It literally melted in your mouth! I decided this would definitely be ordered on my next visit. All the food was cooked perfectly to order and scrumptious!
We were all pretty full but decided to share the Burnt almond tiramisu stuffed with raspberry for dessert. It was divine! I swear I heard the angels in the nearby painting sing as we devoured it!
As others had mentioned, it is a bit pricey, but for special occassions it is a must do. I felt it was quite worth every penny of our bill which was $306 for the party of 5. (We did BYOB) We have dined at much more expensive establishments and left unimpressed, which was not the case at all here.
The only negative was the long walk down the steps through the many other diners after too much wine. It can be challenging! So, watch your step! But do make a visit, you won't be disappointed!
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