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Reviews + Photos from nymag.com
Posted by Anonymous on 02/17/2013
Had dinner there last night. We went for the fireplace & that was the best part of the evening. Portions were tiny - most tapas places give you more food than what Alta gives. We left hungry-we would have ordered more-but the waitress wasn't very good. And what we ordered was just ok. Nothing special. But the place is cozy. I doubt we'll go back..if we do, it'll be just to sit near the wood fireplace.
Posted by SP on 08/03/2012
Atmosphere and people watching are great, but to say that if I had one night in NYC I would have to dine at Alta would be an overstatement. Thurs.-Sat. are extremely busy nights, so wait times, service, and quality suffer greatly. The food is slightly above average and while it stands out from other Tapas places, I wouldn't say it's better than top tier NY restaurants. I'd recommend for a date night mid-week, where you'll find some room to spread out, not be rushed out the door, or have to fight for a water re-fill. Most other nights the restaurant stands alone on its reputation, and while unique to NYC, doesn't strive to ensure quality or positive experience because it simply doesn't have to...the place will continue to be popular for the foreseeable future irrespective of a few forgotten tables, long lines, or most other things that would be speed bumps during the evening.
Posted by Alexandra on 07/16/2012
If you have only one night in New York, this is the restaurant to eat at. Everything from the atmosphere to the food and drink are spectacular. I love the small plate concept. While it may not be an ideal locale if you're looking for a bargain, every dish I have ever tasted is well worth the money. Here are my suggestions in order to make the most of your night at Alta. Definitely start with a cocktail, my preference is their Dark n Stormy or their red sangria, both equally delicious. Definitely switch to wine with your meal. Their list is affordable and approachable with some really awesome Spanish reds. As far as food goes, you can't go wrong. Two to three tapas per person is generally enough although I prefer to take the traditional Spanish approach and share everything with the table. Dishes come out as they are ready so don't expect it to be coursed out - this isn't Daniel. The Brussels sprouts are a must as are the bacon wrapped dates. If you're a foie fan, definitely give their torchon a go. The mussels are also done to perfection and the skirt steak is a personal favorite of mine. As far as I'm concerned, you really can't go wrong. If you have a group of 8 or more definitely try the "whole shebang" for $480. You get every dish on the menu and it truly is a culinary adventure. Add a few bottles of wine and sit on the first floor with your group and you're set for a good time. If you're on a date, try and score a seat upstairs where it's a bit more intimate and gives you a view of the room below. Service is ok. It's not bad, but not much more than average. That said, you're sure to forget about that once you have your first bite. Alta is culinary heaven.
Posted by Anonymous on 05/17/2012
Read mixed reviews about this place, mostly good though and decided to give it a go. The reservation situation is not as annoying as reviewers make it seem. They tell you about it when you make the reservation and all they do is call you the day of to confirm or they give your table away. Doesn't seem that ridiculous to me. The service I found was great, our waiter was extremely attentive and we never had empty glasses. Food - wonderful. There were some things that I was a little disappointed with but as a whole, absolutely delicious and very fun to do with lots of people. 3 tapas a person is a good amount. Standouts were: -Brussel sprouts -Fried goat cheese - must get -Stuffed grape leaves - different but so good! -Mussels - absolutely enormous, we asked for bread to finish the tasty broth -Grilled Merguez - sadly very small though -Bruschetta of spinach and marscapone They also have a very decent beer menu and their sangria is amazing (and has enough alcoholic in it to merit the $11 a glass) Would go back sometime, don't let the reviews scare you! If you aren't into tapas though, do not go. They are definitely small plates.
Posted by S.C. on 12/30/2011
Came with a party of 15, with a reservation, and we had a lengthy wait to be seated. The waiting area is very narrow, so we were the jerks crowding the room. Had a sangria from the bar - it was delicious, and strong! We sat upstairs with crowded elbows at a table in the corner of a small room. It wasn't comfortable, and no one could get up to go to the bathroom. Our waitress was attentive, although she seemed put out that she was dealing with us. I trickled into the room behind the crowd when we were seated and heard her complaining that we were being seated in her section. She didn't miss a beat with the service though. The menu is long and dizzying, and hardly full-on Mediterranean. My bf and I ordered 5 plates, and it was a tease. The food was wonderful though. We got the steak, foie gras, deviled eggs (a single egg for $5!), pulled pork empanadas and the chicken wings. The foie gras was out of this world - soft and buttery, covered with a sheet of soft beet and some kind of berries. My friend and I ordered seconds! Everything else was good, but forgettable. We got slices of pizza on the way home bc we were still hungry. Meal came to about $70 a head, not bad. Would return to the bar for a drink and a snack, but likely not for dinner.
Posted by anonymous on 12/08/2011
The food at this place is bland, tasteless, and not reminiscent of any style of tapas I have ever had in Spain. It is a mishmash of dishes served in small plates and they call them tapas. There was absolutely nothing special about this food and not worth the money. If you want tapas, definitely try a different place. They do, however, have a decent wine selection.
Posted by sangermatt on 07/06/2011
The decor is eclectic as one wall is fake copper, another is brick, and another is rock - all making the place feel a little unfocused. The lack of focus can be seen in the menu as well - which is extensive and all over the place. That being said, the food was great - we had the brussel sprouts, which were pan fried to an inch of their lives - making them a little crispy and very earthy. Covered with a dusting of pistachios and a generous amount of butter, the sprouts were fantastic and rich. The second dish was a perfectly cooked foie grais on top of a toast point. So rich and delicious!