Alkaff Mansion Ristorante
Housed in a beautiful colonial building, this two-story restaurant serves Italian classics, including some lovely housemade pastas such as squid ink tagliatelle. They also have a value-formoney lunch set on weekdays.
The buzz: The historical Alkaff Mansion has finally found a new tenant to breathe life into this grand dame, with a restaurant-bar concept indoors and an alfresco café.
The vibe: It’s hard to ignore the imposing nature of this refurbished piece of architecture, with its beautiful courtyard a real stand-out. The two-storey dining room’s interior channels the same regal air with starched table linens and understated furnishings, ideal for a special occasion; it even accommodates a cheese and charcuterie room in the center.
The food: No surprises here, just straight Italian classics like buffalo mozzarella caprese ($20) and grain-fed beef carpaccio ($20). Alkaff Mansion's pastas are all made fresh in-house, including pappardelle with seven-day marinated wild boar ragù ($26) and an unexpectedly spicy spaghetti alle vongole ($24). Desserts too cover the standbys such as Marsala-spiked tiramisu ($14) and gelato ($12). They also do a $36 three-course lunch set on weekdays.
The drinks: Alkaff Mansion Ristorante is all about catering to wine lovers with an extensive menu of Italiano offerings; with house whites like a 2009 Lis Neris Pinot Grigio starting from $12 a glass.
Why you’ll be back: For the handsome setting, a generous dose of nostalgia and some respectable Italian fare with someone special.