ORO, Italian restaurant in Long Island City

Please note that the meal was complimentary. However, the opinions expressed in my blog are 100% my own! 

 ORO, Italian restaurant in Long Island City

ORO, Italian restaurant in Long Island City

Yesterday evening, I was invited at ORO, an Italian restaurant that opened last August in Long Island City, conveniently located five minutes from the Queensboro Plaza subway stop. I was really surprised when I entered this place as I did not expect a place so spacious, modern and elegant, but with a casual feel.

 Bar ar ORO, Italian restaurant in Long Island City

Bar ar ORO, Italian restaurant in Long Island City

 Dining room at ORO, Italian restaurant in Long Island City

Dining room at ORO, Italian restaurant in Long Island City

 Dining room at ORO, Italian restaurant in Long Island City

Dining room at ORO, Italian restaurant in Long Island City

 Wine display at ORO, Italian restaurant in Long Island City

Wine display at ORO, Italian restaurant in Long Island City

There, I got the chance to meet with the Chef, Scott Andriani, who crafted a very interesting menu. 

 Chef Scott Andriani from ORO, Italian restaurant in Long Island City

Chef Scott Andriani from ORO, Italian restaurant in Long Island City

I started off my meal with a cocktail, a mule sweet and bitter made with muddled strawberries, Russian vodka, campari, lime juice, topped with ginger beer and a strawberry. This was delicious, the taste of strawberry coming through and making it very refreshing. But, this is the type of drink that you would sip without realizing there is alcohol in it...

 Mule cocktail, sweet and bitter at ORO, Italian restaurant in Long Island City

Mule cocktail, sweet and bitter at ORO, Italian restaurant in Long Island City

 Mule cocktail, sweet and bitter at ORO, Italian restaurant in Long Island City

Mule cocktail, sweet and bitter at ORO, Italian restaurant in Long Island City

Then, they brought us some homemade bread, one was made with fennel and the second one with onions. It was quite good bread, the crust being crispy and not too thick, and quite light, cooked in their brick oven.

 Homemade bread at ORO, Italian restaurant in Long Island City

Homemade bread at ORO, Italian restaurant in Long Island City

 Cooking the bread in the brick oven at ORO, Italian restaurant in Long Island City

Cooking the bread in the brick oven at ORO, Italian restaurant in Long Island City

Then came the appetizers. We tried:

Butternut squash arancini made with aborio rice, aged parmesan cheese and served with a sage-lemon aioli. I thought it was an interesting dish as different from the classic rice balls. I really liked the sweetness the butternut squash added to the dish.

 Butternut squash arancini at ORO, Italian restaurant in Long Island City

Butternut squash arancini at ORO, Italian restaurant in Long Island City

 Butternut squash arancini at ORO, Italian restaurant in Long Island City

Butternut squash arancini at ORO, Italian restaurant in Long Island City

Meatball parmigiana served with a tomato basil sauce. These meatballs were delicious, not dry. There was a hint of lemon in that dish that I found unusual and surprising.

 Meatballs parmigiana at ORO, Italian restaurant in Long Island City

Meatballs parmigiana at ORO, Italian restaurant in Long Island City

Charred octopus on top of a white bean ragout, charred peppers, roasted garlic and paprika aioli. The octopus was not rubbery and had a nice char. However, I found it a bit salty. The white bean ragout though was fantastic.

 Charred octopus at ORO, Italian restaurant in Long Island City

Charred octopus at ORO, Italian restaurant in Long Island City

This was definitely a good start and I was looking forward to try the entrees. The first one was the squid ink linguini, served with mixed seafood and a tomato broth. I love squid ink pasta and was in heaven. Know that the pasta there is homemade. They were perfectly cooked and, with the sauce, were sublime. There was also a large amount of seafood, from mussels, to shrimp, squid and clams, all well cooked.

 Squid ink linguine at ORO, Italian restaurant in Long Island City

Squid ink linguine at ORO, Italian restaurant in Long Island City

The second entree was the deep dish grandma pizza that was made with plum tomato, fresh mozzarella and herb oil (rosemary for sure). I admit that I was expected something different, like a fusion between the Chicago deep dish pizza and the Sicilian. It was good, but did not stand out for me.

 Grandma deep dish pizza at ORO, Italian restaurant in Long Island City

Grandma deep dish pizza at ORO, Italian restaurant in Long Island City

 Grandma deep dish pizza at ORO, Italian restaurant in Long Island City

Grandma deep dish pizza at ORO, Italian restaurant in Long Island City

With the entrees came some sides. The first one was quite unusual: corn creme brûlée. This was a great side: creamy and delightfully sweet.

 Corn creme brûlée at ORO, Italian restaurant in Long Island City

Corn creme brûlée at ORO, Italian restaurant in Long Island City

 Corn creme brûlée at ORO, Italian restaurant in Long Island City

Corn creme brûlée at ORO, Italian restaurant in Long Island City

The second one was the crispy brussels sprouts drizzled with bacon vinaigrette, another delicious side that I recommend, especially if you do not like brussels sprout: this will change your mind.

 Crispy brussels sprouts at ORO, Italian restaurant in Long Island City

Crispy brussels sprouts at ORO, Italian restaurant in Long Island City

Last were the desserts and we got spoiled. We tried:

Tiramisu:

 Tiramisu at ORO, Italian restaurant in Long Island City

Tiramisu at ORO, Italian restaurant in Long Island City

Pannacotta:

 Pannacotta at ORO, Italian restaurant in Long Island City

Pannacotta at ORO, Italian restaurant in Long Island City

Strawberry pannacotta with kiwi sorbet (Restaurant Week dessert):

 Strawberry pannacotta at ORO, Italian restaurant in Long Island City

Strawberry pannacotta at ORO, Italian restaurant in Long Island City

All the desserts were delicious, but I admit that my favorite was the pannacotta that was perfectly set. I should also mention the kiwi sorbet that was surprising: it was the first time I had that flavor and loved it: they make it with the kiwi seeds that kind of give the same bite you have with the fruit. I hope they will add that to their regular menu.

The dinner at ORO was great: the food was simply delicious. ORO is definitely a place to know.

Enjoy (I did)!

If you like this post, the photos or the blog, please feel free to share it or post a comment. Merci!

Oro Restaurant and Lounge Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato