Alta is one of the most gorgeous restaurants I’ve ever been to. Forget high ceilings, expensive artwork, and leather booths. Think about thin black ornate rails, a candle chandelier right out of Harry Potter (but alot smaller), and a very wood-y decor. It’s that indoor scene you’d imagine on a frosty winter night. But even at 90 degrees (F) in the summer, Alta was still really really nice and so romantic. Halfway through dinner, Sabrina looked around and remarked, “Um, I think we’re the only non-couple on this floor.”
The tapas here are also nothing short of divine deliciousness. The menu is extensive and ranges in price from $3 to $16. If you think you can get away with a cheap bill, you might want to think again because dinner for 2 came out to around $67 without tip (so $80 including tip). We ordered 5 tapas (in order of my favorites):
- Bacon Wrapped Dates & Olives stuffed with almonds
- Skewer of Grilled & Maple glazed Duck Breast foie gras emulsion, Marsala reduction
- Danish Pork Ribs roasted with kecap manis & coriander
- Coca (Catalonian Flatbread) oven roasted mushrooms, fresh ricotta, truffled boschetto, herbs
- Crispy Brussels Sprouts fuji apples, crÃ¨me fraiche, pistachio nuts
But in all honestly, they were all amazingly good. Every single dish. It’s just if I really had to choose my most favorite to my least, that’d be the list. That means if you were ever to eat at Alta, you’d HAVE TO get the bacon wrapped dates and olives. It’s an explosion of sweet and savory. Besides, how could any dish fail with bacon?
The skewer of duck was my next close favorite because of how tender and flavorful the duck was. I’m pretty sure I was eating 50% fat because I had to chew a darn long while before I could swallow, but that maple glaze really hit the spot. And as someone who’s not a big fan of foie gras, I couldn’t even taste it.
If you’re looking for a hefty portion of tapas, try the Danish pork ribs. By definition, Danish pork ribs are 5 inches wide by 16 inches long. The dish took a bit longer than usual to get out so by the time I started eating my third rib, I was so stuffed (although there’s actually not that much meat on them). But yes, they were finger-lickin-licious and like bacon, how do you screw up pork ribs?
The Coca flatbread is also a definite recommend. Personally, I thought the dish was a bit overpriced at $10.50, but at least it was bangin’. If you like gooey melted ricotta and black mushrooms, then you won’t be disappointed.
Last but not least, the sprouts. What differentiates them are the pistachios and thinly cut apples. But sprouts have this after-taste to them that I just really can’t agree with, which is why they’re on the bottom of the list. They do give you a hefty portion and as sprouts are high in fiber and help prevent cancer, I say go for it.
Alta has an extensive wine list with bottles ranging from the $20’s to even $600. I got myself a glass of Chianti Rosato, Castello di Ama 2006 (Gaiole in Chianti) which was very fruity, but went well with the tapas (then again, any kind of wine would go well with tapas in my opinon). Sabrina ordered beer, which they serve by the bottle but provide a tall slender megaphone shaped sort of glass to pour it in. I know, I just made that sound so unclassy, but you’ll have to trust me that the glass was very cool indeed. To view their beers and wine by the glass, go to the “cocktails & beer” part of their website menu.
To find Alta, you’re going to have to pay attention when you’re walking in between 5th and 6th avenue. It’s one of those underground hole in the wall places. Most days, the door will be opening and closing frequently because it’s always crowded, but just in case, look out for the sign on the door. Do yourself a favor and make a reservation too. Oh, and bring cash if you don’t have an AMEX card because that’s the only card they accept.