Saturday, May 14, 2011

ALTA

On Thursday night Marissa, Amelia and I went to ALTA, a restaurant serving Mediterranean inspired small dishes down on 10th St. between 5th and 6th.  We were looking forward to dinner for like a week in advance after drooling over the menu, and I wasn't surprised to see the restaurant packed when we arrived at 7pm.  We decided to each choose two dishes and to share everything.  We settled on: Fried Goat Cheese with lavender infused honey, House-made Pizza with roasted bacon, thinly sliced onions, mascarpone, fromage blanc and chives, Crispy Brussels Sprouts with granny smith apples, creme fraiche and pistachios, Grilled Shrimp and Chorizo Skewer with avocado mousse, garlic and sherry vinaigrette, Angus Beef Sliders in Turkish pastry with mahon cheese and spiced ketchup, and Pulled Pork Empanadas with a sweet and spicy cilantro dipping sauce.
Fried Goat Cheese and Angus Beef Sliders

My favorites of the dishes were the brussels sprouts and the shrimp and chorizo skewer.  The sprouts were perfectly cooked to a point of salty caramelization, and it was nice to get a bit of each element of the dish in one mouthful.  The shrimp and chorizo was delicious as well; the shrimp was cooked perfectly and the avocado mousse was so light and tasty.
Brussles Sprouts
Shrimp and Chorizo

Some of the other dishes, however, were underwhelming.  I thought that the pizza was a bit lame and sparse on toppings.  The pork empanadas and beef sliders were both satisfying, but with the sliders I found that I didn't know where all of the ingredients were in the dish.  I could not make out any cheese or pickle relish on the sliders and although they were cooked to a nice rareness I thought they could have used something else.  We ordered two more dishes towards the end: Bacon Wrapped Dates and Olives stuffed with almonds, and the Crostini of House Cured Duck Breast, ricotta, sundried tomato, orange and truffle honey.  I enjoyed the duck crostini but we all pretty much hated the dates and olives.  

I don't often go out for small dishes but all in all it was really nice to be able to try a bunch of different things off of the menu.  Some of the dishes were hit or miss but others were delicious.  If I were to go back again I would definitely try the lamb meatballs or the spaghetti pepperoncini, which were both recommended by the waitress.  We each paid about 30 dollars which I thought was quite reasonable.  The place was loud and really social but drinks were a bit pricey and we were happy we went for a few before going to the restaurant.

ALTA: 64 W. 10th St. between 5th and 6th Aves. (212) 505-7777

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