I was recently invited to Oro by the owners to try out some of the classic and modern Italian fare that they serve at their spacious, beautifully appointed Long Island City restaurant.
Oro means “gold” in Italian, and the food equivalent of gold is just what they’re serving you here, especially when you indulge in some of the highlights that I mention here in this review.
First off, there’s an excellent cocktail menu. I went with a blueberry and bourbon drink that was really nicely executed. My wife went with a selection from their Moscow Mule menu. Also excellent.
The waiter will bring out some fresh house made bread next. It’s toasty warm and served with a dish of EVOO and vinegar.
We started with two nice, fresh and delicate apps: scallop crudo with crispy prosciutto in a grapefruit sauce, and charred octopus. Both were perfect. The scallop crudo was really fresh, light and crisp. I wish we ordered two!
The octopus has a great flavor and still kept a slight firmness without being too soft or too chewy – a sweet spot middle ground. There was a good spice kick to it as well.
We shared the duck bolognese pappardelle pasta (which was good, but just needed a bit more salt):
And the 28oz tomahawk ribeye:
That blob you see is an herb butter, which added a green-tasting freshness to each bite.
The meat itself hails from Snake River Farms, which is not only a purveyor of fine standard meats, but also American Wagyu. The owners of Oro are friends with the people at Snake River, so you know the cuts will be of high quality.
The cut itself was cooked a slight bit over from what I would have preferred, being more towards medium than medium rare.
But no matter. The flavor was still good, and the fat cap was delicious. Not to mention that at a price of $52, you’re saving big money and you’re just one stop into Queens from midtown Manhattan. At a place like Cut downtown, that Snake River Farms steak is going to run you almost $100. Crazy discount here. And this can be shared with a second diner, so even better. 7/10.
The steak selection here is pretty impressive. As soon as next week, as a matter of fact, there will be even more of a “butcher’s block” selection here, which will include a 36oz porterhouse as well as what’s already on the menu (filet, strip, tomahawk, and pork chops).
On the side we had some arancini, or fried rice balls, which were fun and tasty.
We also had the sweet potato creme brulee. I didn’t think I’d like it when we were told about it by the waiter. As such, we didn’t order it. But the waiter brought it out for us to try anyhow. It turned out to be my favorite item of the night!
It was sweet without going overboard, and the brulee crunch and marshmallow topping was just thrilling. I even remarked that if you plop a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of it, it would make for a perfect dessert. Do yourself a favor and get this when you come here. It is unbelievable.
For our proper desserts, we tried the fig panna cotta and nutella bread pudding with homemade fluff. Both were incredible, but I give the edge to the panna cotta. So silky, smooth and light, but packing a big flavor punch.
41-17 Crescent St
Long Island City, NY 11101