Alta Alta has been on my list of places I want to try for a while. Finally made it over there!

The space is cozy and inviting, the upstairs is more romantic. The menu is set up tapas style and has the longest selection I’ve seen so far. We started with three recommendations from the waiter and the first to arrive was the Crispy Brussels Sprouts with fuji apples, creme fraiche, and pistachios, a dish two of my friends have raved about. It was certainly a unique preparation but it didn’t meet the hype for me. I generally liked it but still have a few complaints. The “crispy” sprouts were really just overly charred and the different bites of the dish tasted differently. A sweet and apple-licious syrupy sauce sat on the bottom of the bowl while some creme fraiche was drizzled on a few sprouts on top. So some pieces tasted of creme fraiche, and some were too sweet (sitting on the bottom), but a few pieces in the middle exhibited the wonderful combination of both, the way I believe the whole dish was meant to be. So, if you get this dish, toss it before eating.

brussels sprouts at Alta

Next, the Peperoncino Spaghetti (Bottarga Di Muggine, dried bonito & shrimp oil, and peppercress), the one our waiter seemed most excited about, did not really excite us. While there were hints of nice flavors going on, it was overwhelmed by just being too oily. I’m not sure if I liked the stickiness of the roe either resulting in just a forgettable dish for me.

Peperoncino spaghetti at Alta

We’re most thankful for the Lamb Meatball recommendation, the favorite for me and Lon. The nicely spiced and tender meatballs were just so perfectly balanced with the sweet butternut squash and creamy lebne.

Lamb meatballs at Alta

Now for our choices, the House Cured Duck Breast with mirin scented faro, artichoke puree, and foie gras mousse was unique and just wonderful. The duck breast had nice elasticity, wrapped around a smooth and lightened foie gras mousse, with chewy pieces of faro. It was rich and decadent without being too heavy.

House Cured duck breast at Alta

Our worst choice was the Crabmeat Cannelloni, with almonds and grapes, creme fraiche-verjus foam. The crab came in nice large chunks but it just didn’t taste fresh and the combination of flavors was very unappetizing for both of us. The sauce, tasting much like whipped cream with grapes and almonds, was fine on it’s own but odd with the crab. Somewhere in there was something very minty that turned me off as well.

crab cannelloni at Alta

Luckily, we ended off with a bang, Lon’s second favorite of the night, Squid Ink Paella. The rice was cooked perfectly and we loved the ultra flavorful mix of preserved lemon, guindillas peppers and scallions, each adding a special something to this dish. The shrimp was over-cooked but the other shellfish were fine.

Squid Ink Paella at Alta

Lon and I really applaud Chef Harrison Mosher for being daring. Since Lon and I dine out a lot, it can get quite boring and redundant. Eating at Alta was refreshing and fun. Since the prices are very reasonable, we’re not unhappy with one bad dish. It was worth it to taste the experimentation of all these other dishes. We’ll be back soon to try more of the exciting menu.

posted by jessica at 08:51 AM Filed under Favorites, Fusion or Mixed, Restaurants. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.