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The Betsy Hotel is Set to Reopen Its Trattoria-Style Pizzeria, The Alley, After a Three-Year Hiatus

After closing due to a COVID-19 mandate, The Alley, a beloved pizza spot within The Betsy Hotel, is reopening its doors to the public on Wednesday, March 27, 2024.

The Alley is a trattoria-style pizzeria led by award-winning Chef Laurent Tourondel. This hidden gem celebrates traditional Italian flavors with a contemporary flair, featuring artisanal pizzas; flavorful salads; fresh cheeses and meats for the perfect charcuterie; and creamy soft-serve ice cream all within a warm and welcoming space.

The Alley's menu is complemented by an expansive selection of beer, wine, and spirits, ensuring a perfect pairing for every dish. Guests can also enjoy their experience outdoors in the charming patio which includes seating for 24 patrons or take their favorites on the go by ordering from the Ventanita, a walk-up window located underneath the hotel’s distinct poetry rail offering freshly-brewed coffee and soft serve.

The Alley is a respite from the busy South Beach neighborhood, featuring warm woods, floor-to-ceiling windows, and eccentric pendant light fixtures that hang from sloped ceilings.

Designed to create a welcoming experience for guests, the 1,327-square-foot, 66-seat indoor dining room is complemented by organic materials such as bamboo and raffia and decorated with eclectic art pieces, like the critically acclaimed Neon Gandhi by artist Val Kilmer—a glowing LED neon portrait of global peace activist Mahatma Gandhi.

The charming outdoor dining area includes seating for 24 patrons and offers an unparalleled view of the ever-changing art projections on The Orb, the internationally renowned egg-shaped sculpture, by architect Allan Shulman, which serves as both a unique canvas and a bridge connecting the hotel's two historic buildings.

Helmed by award-winning Chef Laurent Tourondel, who is the creative force behind every culinary concept at the hotel, The Alley’s elevated menu is thoughtfully curated with the finest ingredients to highlight the bold and delectable flavors in each bite. Guests at The Alley can expect many of the restaurant’s fan-favorite dishes to return, alongside exciting newly imagined additions.

“While my career experience includes working in luxury restaurants across the world, pizza is truly my passion project,” said Tourondel. “As I celebrate my 15th year heading the culinary creations at The Betsy Hotel, I’m thrilled to share that passion with the South Beach community again. The Alley, much like any other restaurant at the hotel, is more than just a place to enjoy quality food; it’s a welcoming space where everyone in the community can gather over delicious dishes to create long-lasting memories.” 

With over 40 years of culinary expertise, Chef Tourondel has honed his skills in prestigious kitchens across the globe—from France to Hong Kong, Morocco to New York City—garnering numerous accolades, including recognition as one of Food & Wine magazine’s 10 Best New Chefs and Bon Appétit’s Restaurateur of the Year.

Yet, it's not just his fine dining ventures that define him; it's also his passion for pizza. His journey to perfect this classic staple led him to years of exploration across the pizza capitals of the world where he sought to craft the perfect dough. He mastered the art, giving rise to Sag Pizza in Long Island and L’Amico in NYC as well as an indispensable force in shaping The Betsy Hotel’s culinary legacy for over 15 years.

Crafted with meticulous care and skill, The Alley’s reimagined menu serves as a love letter to the simplicity of traditional Italian fare. Guests can begin the dining experience with an assortment of tempting breads, such as the Ricotta Di Buffalo “Sweet Whey”, served on a fluffy rosemary focaccia and topped with Barolo vinegar, olive oil and sea salt; or the Cannellini Beans & Kale Bruschetta, topped with fresh basil and parmesan, among others. Crisp and refreshing salads include the Arthur Ave., made with salami, cucumber, onion, provolone and pepperoncini; Raw Zucchini, with lemon-garlic olive oil, basil, and almond; or the Cavalo Nero, topped with capers, anchovy, and breadcrumbs. 

The Formaggi section boasts an array of cheeses, each served with honey-almond amaretto and plum-raisin mostarda. Selections include the creamy Quadrello di Bufala, a buffalo-milk cheese sourced from the Lombardy region in Northern Italy. Paired with fresh cheese, the Salumi section features classic Italian meats, such as the Prosciutto San Daniel, and the Mortadella / Pistachio

At the heart of The Alley’s offerings are perfectly prepared handmade pizzas, each made simply with the freshest ingredients and cooked in rustic stone ovens. One bite of any of The Alley’s delicious artisanal pizzas, will transport guests from South Beach to Italy in an instant. Must-try pizzas, which can all be made with a Gluten Free Dough upon request, include the newly-added Francese, made with tomatoes, mushrooms, prosciutto cotto, Comté, Gruyère and Pili Pili oil; Quatro Formaggi E Pepe, featuring fontina, robiola, taleggio, and mozzarella topped with black pepper; or the Shrimp Scampi, crafted with rock shrimp, pesto, and wild arugula. 

A variety of velvety soft serve ice creams are a welcomed addition to the menu, inspired by its popularity throughout Italy. Staying true to the Italian tradition of soft-serve ice cream, The Alley brings a taste of Italy to the table with an array of unique and creamy flavors made in-house, featuring staples such as the Chocolate-Vanilla Swirl, topped with an amaretti cookie and imaginative flavors such as the Vanilla & Mushroom Popcorn, served with a caramel drizzle. Adjacent to The Alley is The Ventanita, an over-the-counter café where guests on the go can satisfy their sweet tooth from the window. The Ventanita will offer all soft serve flavors with the added bonus of freshly-brewed coffee from South Florida staple, Panther Coffee.  

The Alley’s drink menu serves as an enhancement to any dish, offering a variety of spritzes, wine, cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages. Imbibe on the namesake cocktail The Alley Spritz, made with Aperol, prosecco and Fever Tree soda. Savor a non-alcoholic option like the Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade, featuring raspberry, freshly squeezed lemons, and Fever Tree Superior Club Soda.

By ML Staff. Images courtesy of The Alley


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