A Divine Dinner at Alta
I have heard soo many great things from foodies about Alta that I was dying to go there for the past few years. The two things that held me back was the fact that they only serve dinner and I don’t have anyone to eat out with me. That’s until I went there a few weeks ago, my friend Dave was willing to come along with me.
When we entered the restaurant, the lighting was really dim, sexy, and romantic. The entire place was practically candlelit. It’s spacious and it looks like an old country farmhouse from the inside, even though the entrance photo you have just seen looks like a townhouse.
We were seated on the second floor, occasionally glancing at the first floor’s happenings since this place is popular and it’s packed within half an hour from opening time (which was 6 PM). Anyways, started off with drinks. He ordered the Cosmopolitan and I had their cocktail, the Bloody Orange Margarita.
Both drinks tasted ok. The bartender who made these drinks had a pretty heavy hand on the liquor that the flavors and tastes were off that it tastes more boozy than smooth and fruity (at least for my drink).
When our waitress asked what we would like to order, we chose the Fried Goat Cheese, Bacon wrapped dates, the Philadelphia Truffle Surprise, Crispy Brussels Sprouts, Moroccan Bistilla of Chicken Confit, Grilled Chorizo Wrapped Gulf Shrimp, and the Carpaccio Of Beef. Yes, it seems like a lot of food but note that this is a tapas bar, where small plates are served and meant to be shared amongst other people than a single serving in most restaurants.
The fried goat cheese balls were awesome! It’s fried to a crisp, golden brown perfection. The tangy, pungent goat cheese is smooth, creamy, and peppery that it’s been contrasted with the sweet, flowery goodness of the lavender honey.
The bacon wrapped dates were petite, little finger food that packs a punch on the flavor department. It’s sweet, chewy and smoky, and nutty (it’s stuffed with almonds) all in one bite. I’m dying of happiness…
When I read the Philadelphia Truffle Surprise on the menu, it sounded odd to me. Cream cheese and truffles? But it actually came out wonderfully. The crisp, deep-fried puff pastry filled with creamy, tangy, cream cheese flavored with musky, earthy truffle oil. It’s fabulous.
The beef was of good quality and it’s topped with horseradish créme frâiche and orange supremes but the flavors weren’t bold enough to be remembered. The beef carpaccio was the least tantalizing food for the evening.
This dish was good. The chorizo was delicious and flavorful, with a hint of smoky, charred flavor from grilling but the shrimp was overcooked and a bit rubbery. The bed of avocado mousse that these shrimp are laying on top of, did not contribute much in terms of flavor, texture-wise it makes the shrimp more buttery but in my opinion, it’s a bit superfluous.
The Moroccan Bistilla of Chicken which is basically layers of phyllo dough filled with spiced meat, was a bit disappointing. It supposed to be creamy, since it was indicated from the menu but it came out to be fully cooked and chunky. The chicken confit was barely moist but it tender. The delicate mixture of Moroccan spices (such as cardamom, anise, cinnamon, and clove), with the chicken, sweet, dried currants and scallions made it taste delicious. It’s a disappointment in terms of texture but it tastes so good.
We almost forgotten about the Crispy Brussels Sprouts because we ate so much food! But it’s this dish is always welcome, in my book at least. This is one of Alta’s signature dishes. It’s deep-fried Brussels sprouts mixed with apple cider reduction (hence the caramelized flavor) topped with slices of Fuji apple, swirls of crème fraiche, and a sprinkling of pistachio nuts. Oh my god, this was divine. Honestly, it would convert the Brussels sprout hater to a lover of this vegetable.
That’s the end of our dinner. We’re too stuffed for dessert so the check has been paid and parted ways to go home. Alta is officially one of my favorite restaurants.
64 W 10th Street
New York, NY 10011