WHO TO BRING: A DATE OR A GROUP WHO’S LOOKING TO TRY A BUNCH OF DELECTABLE SMALL PLATES
On one of my night strolls downtown, I came across Alta, whose heavily vined and quaint facade immediately drew my curiosity. I grabbed a business card from within and planned to visit soon.
What I did not realize on my first visit was the extent of the restaurant, which is completely hidden from the street. To get to the dining area you cross through the long bar downstairs, to arrive at a large dining area with an atrium. Our table was at the top level whose view opened up to the dining room below. So unexpected!
The best surprise of all, though, was the quality and upscale nature of the tapas. Here, we experienced the best caramelized brussels sprouts ever. They were perfectly browned, not too soft, and full of flavor. We got a second order and I managed to take a couple home for the next day’s snack. These came topped with very thin slices of granny smith apple, which added a sweet contrast, plus a little crème fraîche and pistachios.Striped bass came bathed in a foamy, lightly creamy sauce with cabbage. Even the olives were sensational. We also ordered the fluke carpaccio which were buttery, and so fresh, and were topped with pink pepper, coriander, and mint. Scallops were perfectly browned (these guys are browning professionals!) and were accompanied by sweet peas and a lickable sauce.
This is a great place for celebrating, and can accommodate a crowd with the space, and the menu. It feels like an especially great escape from the winter with its cozy digs.
Alta, 64 w 10th St (betw 5th/6th Ave)