La Dolce Vita

2 long-awaited Italian restaurants say buongiorno to San Antonio this month

2 long-awaited Italian restaurants say buongiorno to San Antonio

Allora lobster lasagna
Allora's lobster lasagna with a lobster bisque pour-over. Photo courtesy of Maverick Restaurant Group
Allora dishes
Allora's menu is inspired by the flavors of the Italian coast. Photo courtesy of Maverick Restaurant Group
Chef Robbie Nowlin
Chef Robbie Nowlin leads the Allora kitchen. Photo courtesy of Maverick Restaurant Group
Arrosta frito misto
Arrosta's frito misto plate features fried seafood balls, calamari, and the perfect fries. Photo courtesy of Maverick Restaurant Group
Arrosta bread and frittata
Arrosta specializes in fresh, house-made breads. Photo courtesy of Maverick Restaurant Group
Arrosta chef Chris Carlson
Chef Chris Carlson leads Arrosta. Photo courtesy of Maverick Restaurant Group
Allora lobster lasagna
Allora dishes
Chef Robbie Nowlin
Arrosta frito misto
Arrosta bread and frittata
Arrosta chef Chris Carlson

Salute, San Antonio! After a substantial building and planning process that stretched across two years, two of the city’s most anticipated Italian restaurants are finally opening at the Pearl.

San Antonio-based Maverick Restaurant Group has announced that its Italian fast-casual café, Arrosta, opens next week on the ground floor of Pearl’s adjacent Oxbow building, and Allora, its full-service coastal Italian restaurant, will open at the beginning of March on the ground floor of the Pearl’s Credit Human Building.

Arrosta will open Monday, February 14 from 7:30 am-2:30 pm for breakfast and lunch service. Allora opens March 2 and will initially offer dinner service Sunday through Thursday 5-10 pm and Friday and Saturday 5-11 pm. Allora will add lunch and brunch service soon.

The restaurant group directs guests to the Allora and Arrosta websites and the Allora and Arrosta social media pages to get updates and more info on menus and reservations, and also encourages excited diners to “pop in on a whim.”

Aiming to redefine the Italian culinary experience in Alamo City with their upscale dining spaces, novel recipes, and unique wine offerings, the two sister concepts have been thoughtfully designed to virtually transport locals to the cobblestone streets of Italy and the splendor of the Amalfi Coast.

“Italian food is an emotional cuisine of the highest quality with the simplest expression, filling our eyes, heart, and hunger with happiness and beauty,” says Peter Selig, president of Maverick Restaurant Group. “Italians offer the very best hospitality, which we intend to recreate. Italian style produced by Texans it shall be.”

Allora, helmed by chef Robbie Nowlin and inspired by that most gorgeous coastal region of Italy, features a bountiful menu of small and large plates, cooked and raw seafood, house-made pasta, and savory Italian meats.

The eatery, which Maverick Restaurant Group says embodies New York culinary style and edginess, is embellished with “colorfully scenic spaces” and includes one of San Antonio’s largest al fresco dining loggias, further adding to the Italy-inspired ambience.

As Selig says of Allora, “Get ready to be transported to la dolce vita of Italy.”

Little sister Arrosta, led by chef Chris Carlson, offers a “bohemian café experience” and specializes in counter-service Italian street foods like rotisserie meats prepared “with the flair of Texas barbecue,” savory sides, and house-made breads, as well as Rome-style pizzas, paninis, fried foods, and decadent Italian pastries — all available for a casual dine-in experience among the cozy banquettes and patio garden, as well as for takeout.

Both restaurants will offer a selection of espresso beverages, spritzers, beer, and an impressive list of Italian wines that’s been curated by local award-winning sommelier Joshua Thomas and Allora and Arrosta’s in-house sommelier, Francisco Chagolla. Arrosta’s all-day bar will also transition daily from offering coffee drinks in the morning — a staple of Italian life — to Italian wines and beers in the evening.

“Everything will be done with sprezzatura — that wonderful Italian word meaning to make something very difficult seem effortless and stylish,” Selig says. “Our passion comes from our love of and respect for Italian food culture.”

Arrosta will initially open for breakfast and lunch service, with dinner and weekend service coming shortly thereafter. The café’s hours are Monday through Friday 7:30 am-2:30 pm.