Mandalou and her husband, chef Deneb Williams, opened Allora in February at 5215 Folsom Blvd. The Italian seafood restaurant boasts a 22-foot-tall wine cellar with more than 200 types of European wines, most of them Italian or Greek.
A Sacramento native, Mandalou learned the finer points of wine from Jeremy Reed at Ella Dining Room and Bar before opening Woodlake Tavern and Uptown Pizza Kitchen with Williams. She became a certified sommelier in 2013 and passed the three-day advanced sommelier exam last summer, becoming just the third Sacramentan to do so.
Wine & Spirits surveyed sommeliers around the country for recommendations of newcomers who could show off their exquisite wine lists with strength, speed, modesty and enthusiasm. Kristy McDonald of Per Se, a three-Michelin-starred Thomas Keller restaurant in New York City, called Allora’s wine list “daring and eclectic.”
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