11 E. 53rd Street
New York, NY, 10022
Alto is a restaurant we have come to love.
When Scott Conant opened this sleek designed Italian in 2005 with a menu that reads like a visit to Trentino-Alto Adige, that northern Italian region bordering Austria, it had all the basic ingredients for success. The problem was Alto had too many little disappointments. We wrote then “the food from Trentino-Alto Adige is robust, not delicate in flavors or composition. So one ends up longing as much after the meal as before the meal despite knowing all the attention and effort undertaken in Scott Conant's kitchen”
However now with Chef Michael White in charge of the kitchen, the food explodes off the plate, not with over the top culinary glitz, but rather from outstandingly wonderful preparation and execution of subtle flavoring of the overwhelming perfect ingredients. During a recent samplings of dishes from the four course prix fixed menu, we enjoyed a wonderful tuna carpaccio, a wonderful rich soup, two outstanding pasta second courses, wonderful Guinea hen and a to die for lamb chops. The four courses were equally outstanding; perfectly ripe cheese course and a trio of apple desserts including an apple bread pudding.
Alto is composed of multiple rooms, glass panels and is not inherently a great space with narrow corridors and nooks and crannies, which we did not find spectacular, just somewhat cramped.
The service has improved over that past two plus years, and at the moment the service is as fine as we have experienced at any place other than the absolute top places in Manhattan.
The wine list is incredible with a spectacular collection of outstanding and unique Italian, European and new world wines. The selection of Northern Italian red and white wines presents to the adventurous customer an opportunity to taste wines that are highly influenced by Austria and Germany.
Alto – Highly Recommend