The Allegria and the city of Long Beach were battered, pummeled and flooded and severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy. After millions of dollars were spent renovating and rebuilding, the hotel is a visual work of art and a testament to the strength and optimism of the city by the sea. I had seen the hotel as it was being built and after the storm. I could not have visualized the fantastic job both the city and hotel have done to rebuild and reenergize Long Beach.
At the invitation of Nasser Samman, the Allegria's general manager, we were invited to visit the rebuilt hotel and join him for lunch. The drive to long beach takes about 20 minutes from my home and gave me the opportunity to survey the city and the progress it has made since the storm. In the past year, Long Beach still looked like it had been permanently damaged. The new and improved long beach we visited was fresh, new, and exciting with construction going on throughout the town and sparkling new homes and shops returning to this once thriving town. We pulled up to the Allegria and the hotel literally is breathtaking! The hotel has views of the Ocean and boardwalk that are spectacular and reminiscent of Malibu or Caribbean. We entered the totally new and remodeled lobby, which now features shops, sitting areas and a beautiful front desk. We then went up to the Atlantica restaurant where we met Nasser.
Atlantica is simply awesome in its layout, lighting, and views of the boardwalk and ocean. We sat at a table by a large picture window overlooking the magnificent ocean.
Our lunch that day would be a sampling of some of neptune's treats and some solid comfort food. We began our meal with french onion soup gratinee ..Rich, Dark Brown and filled with sweet and luscious onions and cheese.
We then shared a Jumbo lump crab cake made with mixed green, edamame, hearts of palm, sliced jalapeno, orange and grapefruit segments, red onion marmalade and shallot vinaigrette. Simply fantastic!
We also sampled a classic shrimp cocktail with cocktail sauce- the shrimp were almost the size of langoustines and delicious.
We then shared some dim sum made with sweet chile and soy sauces. Exotic and authentic.
For our main courses we ordered their renowned charbroiled 8 Oz Burger on a toasted Brioche roll made with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms and french fries. Out of this world delicious!
Our second entree was a delightful grilled chicken panini made with sun dried tomato pesto, sauteed broccoli rabe, on facaccia bread and onion rings. Made and presented beautifully and very satisfying.
Our meals, the ocean views and Nasser made our afternoon a relaxing enjoyable treat.
After some great conversation, excellent food, service and ambiance, I know we will be back again soon.
Atlantica serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch, a snack (nibbles) menu during the day, and seafood special buffet on fridays.
Congratulations to Nasser, his staff and the gorgeous Allegria hotel for their devotion to excellence...
The Allegria Hotel, 80 West Broadway, Long Beach, N.Y. tel: 516-889-1300 call for reservations!