What’s four times taller than Shaquille O’Neal, tastes better than meatball parmesan and, every happy hour, comes with complimentary prosecco?
The 30-foot noodle, a specialty at New York City’s Bernic Hotel’s Allora Ristorante.
The Bernic, a new built-from scratch hotel in Manhattan’s Turtle Bay neighborhood, offers sleek, affordable (for New York anyway) digs with balconies, floor-to-ceiling windows, a rooftop lounge with views of many New York icons, free passes to the New York Health and Racquet Club, free prosecco in the lobby daily, and very roomy showers.
You’ll need a pair of scissors to partake of Allora’s maccheroni alla mugnaia (“miller’s wife” in Italian), a 30-foot-long noodle served looped on a wooden tray in a red meat sauce of lamb, beef and pork with 30 veal meatballs, one for every foot of pasta. You practically have to stand on your chair to cut the ginormous thick noodle, but it’s worth every glorious bite.
According to legend, a 14th century wheat miller’s wife in the Abruzzo region of Italy invented the hand-rolled noodle in an effort to use up the excess flour on her hands.
True or not, the Bernic’s Allora definitely feels like a throwback to another era. Friendly waiters in black tie bustle between tables with stiff white tablecloths. I practically expected Frank Sinatra to walk in at any moment.
It’s charmingly old school with a sumptuous northern Italian menu that includes homemade pasta dishes and grass fed steaks, aged in house for 28 days. Prepared tableside, on a mobile trolley, favorites such as Caesar salad and the fillet of branzino, finished off with garlic, herbs, Pernod, and a hefty dose of flamboyant showmanship inspire diners to break out in wild applause.
We also applaud the many special touches at the Bernic, from the pre-arrival concierge app and in-room espresso machines to the house-made lavender lemonade and exquisite scent of white tea and thyme wafting through the halls.
Rooms feature radiant floor heating, bath amenities by Beekman 1802, luxury linens, turndown service by via Chocolat Moderne, a book collection curated by Strand Bookstore, and the afore-mentioned huge showers.