Allegro E Gourmet Prep
The Allegro E Pull-Down line of faucets from Hansgrohe includes several models. I’d like to focus on just two of them: the Gourmet Prep and the Gourmet High-Arc.
Specs and Design
The Gourmet Prep faucet looks ordinary enough at a glance. It comes in a choice of Steel Optik or Chrome finishes, and features the kind of Scandinavian minimalist aesthetic that you see everywhere now. Either you’re a fan of this look or you’re not, but beneath its cool exterior this faucet has some pretty exciting features.
For one thing, it has a flow rate of 2.2 gallons per minute. You can quickly and conveniently fill your biggest pots for cooking, which unfortunately is not true with every faucet.
Fitting your pots underneath the spout is easy as well. The gooseneck spout can swivel 150 degrees. Also, the height of the spout (7 5/8 inches) is easily tall enough for most situations. Otherwise, the pull-down spray head can also be used if want to fill a vessel that’s too big to fit into your sink. The faucet’s total height above sink level is a little more than 13 inches.
Whether or not you like how this faucet looks, you’ll probably be happy with how it operates. I’ve already mentioned the swivel, but I’d like to say something about the handle too. It’s hard to find a faucet handle that’s neither too firm nor too loose, but this model gets it just right.
Personally speaking, I also really liked the location and angle of the handle. It’s easy to use even with just an elbow whether you’re turning the water on or off. If I’ve got soap, grease, or raw chicken all over my hands, I’d rather not get it all over the faucet too! Who needs more cleaning-up?
Switching the flow mode is also simple and convenient. Whether you want a regular funnel stream or needle spray, you can change from one to the other without a noticeable change in the water pressure in either setting. Not many faucets can claim that kind of consistency.
Of course, one of this faucet’s key features is found right in its name: the pull-down spray wand. If you, like me, prefer pull-down sprays to the pull-out kind, you’ll like this model.
Often a spray wand of this type is too hard to pull down, or it gets floppy after a while, or it just doesn’t sit in your hand properly. This faucet has none of these design flaws. When you’re not using it, it stays firmly docked in the faucet neck, but when you want it you can pull it down easily.
For me, the spray wand was neither too light nor too heavy. It was also big enough even for my big hands (I often find spray wands are too small for me to use comfortably.)
What’s more, the spray wand button is straightforward to use compared to some other models. Once you press it and switch either to needle spray or steady stream, it stays locked in that position even if you let go of the button. Press it again to switch back to the original mode. Easy to use, and less tiring for your thumb.
Allegro E Gourmet High-Arc
The Allegro Gourmet High-Arc is in many ways the same as the Gourmet Prep, but with a few key added features.
Specs and Design
Just like the Gourmet Prep, the High-Arc contains M2 ceramic cartridges, ensuring smooth operation for years to come.
This model also has the same flow rate of 2.2 gallons per minute, but you can also get it in a low-flow version with a flow rate of just 1.5 GPM. For me that would not be an added benefit, but if you’re working with restrictions due to your plumbing, you may be glad of this option.
This faucet looks very much like the Prep – it has the same chrome (04066000 or 04066001 for low flow) or brushed stainless steel (04066860 or 04066861 for low flow) finish. Note that Hansgrohe names the brushed steel finish “Steel Optik” and puts a heavy price tag on it.
The biggest difference between the High-Arc and the Prep is its dimensions. The High Arc is 14 ¾ Inches tall at the highest point, and 8 7/8 inches from the deck to the spray face. The spout gives you 10 3/8 inches of reach from the neck to the center of the spout.
Of course the High-Arc gets its name from these dimensions, but there’s a practical purpose behind them. If you have really big pots to work with and you don’t want them colliding with your faucet, the extra inches are perfect. Even if you can’t fit something under your spout, if you pull out the spray wand you’ll get a little extra clearance, and then you can just use the spray wand to fill the vessel.
The pull-down spray wand on this model is not really different from the Gourmet Prep spray wand, and both are quite good. Both are big enough for someone like me to use comfortably. Both use the same mechanism to switch between stream and needle spray. Something I forgot to mention above is the nylon hose – it’s a generous length and pulls out easily.
Often a faucet of this type has a hose that’s either too heavy or too light. Both the Gourmet Prep and the High-Arc feel just about right to me. When a hose is too light there’s a danger that you’ll pull too hard on it, straining the hose. When it’s too heavy you may end up avoiding using it altogether. For me, these two faucets get it just right.
Both of these models are easy to install, and you won’t see much difference between the two of them in this regard. If you’ve got any experience at all at this kind of thing, you should be able to install it in 20 minutes or less. I’m clumsy and generally useless at this kind of thing, and I managed to install it in 10 to 20 minutes. If your kitchen is more than a few decades old, you should make sure that you have the right adapters for the water lines, but for most people this will present no problems.
If the minimalist aesthetic of these faucets is to your liking and you’re looking for a faucet with great functionality, these two models are worth looking into. Both are flexible, durable, well-made, and easy both to install and use. If you need more clearance to accommodate large pots, or even if you just like the look of a taller spout, choose the High-Arc.