Alta: Moroccan Tapas
Alta is almost like a secret garden at night: hidden, dark with twinkling lanterns, hidden dining rooms, and a surprising menu.
Located in a very interesting space in the West Village, Alta attracts a very hip crowd – the good-looking set down for good food and good wine. The menu is intimidating, to say the least. One large page chock-a-block with small plate items ranging from toasted sourdough bruschetta with ricotta and tomato confit, rabbit terrine with pea orzo, fried goat cheese balls, brussel sprouts, and sea scallops to asparagus tempura. The entire selection is inspired by Moroccan fare, yet inspiration is clearly taken from Western European and Asian cuisines.
The food is almost uniformly tasty, although in disappointingly small portions, even for tapas. The only ‘miss’ my friend and I had was the rabbit terrine which was just far too gamey and tough with not enough flavor or moisture. Even the cheesecake, while very cheesy, was good!
My biggest surprise, and this is my own personal taste taking over here, was the very large selection of rose wine by the glass. They had at least 10 options – we had 3 that were all different and all good! A lovely option for a hot summer night…
In terms of the setting, Alta is on 2 floors, a subterranean bar and main dining room lit by lanterns and candlelight and a second floor with tables surrounding the atrium of the main dining room and a back room, accessed through the kitchen (…? – does the health board know about this? I wonder…). We sat in this back room – it was much quieter and very charming with small intimate tables overlooking the street below.
The service was quick, quiet, efficient, and unobstrusive!
64 W. 10th St, West Greenwich Village, New York NY 10011 (212) 505 7777