Under: American,Desserts,Italian,Lunch,Michelin 2010 Guide,Midtown East,My Life,Prix-fixe,seafood
My mom and I met up at ALTO after I had a huge lunch at Google and I was afraid that I couldn’t actually eat lunch with my mom, but I powered through the lunch special. We arrived a little late (around 2pm) and we were the last seating before the restaurant closed to prep for dinner. I started off with a lot of bread:
Olive, country, and tomato focaccia:
The lunch special is a two-course tasting similar to Jean Georges. I ordered for both of us since my mom was a little late – I ordered the Carne Albese con Crescione e Parmigiano (creekstone farms beef tartar, watercress puree, parmigiano crisp) for her:
I ordered the Agnolotti del Plin con Tonno di Coniglio (piemontese-style rabbit ravioli, baby carrots, peas, rabbit sausage):
The agnolotti was recommended to us by our server and was actually really quite delicious (although a bit on the salty side); perfect bites of pasta filled with rabbit accompanying bites of meaty mushrooms. My mom’s tartare was also really delicious although the sauces were a little too light.
For our main course, the server recommended us ordering a fish – we ordered the red snapper with fingerling potatoes and a red pepper jus:
And me with my main course:
My mom ordered the wonderfully braised veal cheeks:
Both of the dishes were really tasty; the red snapper was meaty and had the right amount of acidity to go with the fish and the veal cheeks were tender, juicy, and very flavorful. By the end of the meal, I was definitely getting sweaty from consuming so much food (I had just eaten a full lunch of lobster mac and cheese, gelato, cannolis, and sweet potatoes). We weren’t in the mood for dessert but we did get some wonderful chocolate and vanilla biscotti for our dessert:
Me and my mom after lunch in the ALTO courtyard:
I was a little surprised that ALTO is a two-starred restaurant; Marea, its sister restaurant, has a lot better food and only had one star for 2010 (deservedly, they moved up to two stars for 2011). The restaurant’s decor had a 60′s vibe (check out the green chairs):
And the service was a little off (I think they were rushing us a bit because they wanted to get us out of the restaurant so they could go on break). I enjoyed my meal at ALTO but I’d prefer returning to one of the other wonderful restaurants Michael White runs.