Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Mar 4, 2009 05:48 AM

Degustation or Alta

Has anyone been to both?

I'm looking for a small plates place and was trying to compare the two.
Food, price and atmosphere.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I have been to Alta twice and really enjoyed the food. My only complaint is that the plates come flying out of the kitchen at a rapid rate....ask them to slow down the service so you can truly enjot each dish

    1 Reply
    1. re: trishottawa

      Thanks Trish, that's a good tip!
      The dishes at Alta sound so good...
      Degustation has gotten some great reviews but the menu isn't calling me the way Alta's is.


    2. i've never been to alta - (i will rectify that) but i am an unrepentant cheerleader for degustation

      2 Replies
      1. re: thew

        Well I just booked -Degustation!
        The meal is a bit of a celebration so I wanted it to be special...
        Thanks thew!

        1. re: NellyNel

          My girlfriend and I had the 10-course tasting menu at Degustation yesterday, and it was great! One of the best meals I've had in the last few years. The service was wonderful, too. It was an expensive meal, but I surely got value for my money. For the record, I've never been to Alta.

      2. I've done the 10 course tasting at Degustation and the "whole shebang" at Alta and there really is no comparison between them, aside from the fact that they serve small plates. Degustation is in a much higher class when considering ingredients, cooking style, flavor combos, originality, creativity, presentation, etc. Alta is good for a big group and the atmosphere is pretty nice/romantic (when not packed), but they do try to get you in and out, and the unoriginal food is not prepared or presented with much care.

        1 Reply
        1. re: GTopp

          thanks GTopp - that's what I thought.

          Could you tell me about the 10 course tasting?
          I was just reading a different thread and allot of folks were unhappy about the offerings.Complaints that the food was not indicitive of their style.

          Can you offer me your thoughts?


        2. ive been to both...they are rather different vibes completely.

          ive been to alta maybe 4x or so...2x quite recently. its a nice vibe...its lively but even for a couple having dinner, it feels nice and intimate...particularly on the top floor. i cant entirely remember any standout dishes...i did remember a very excellent short rib dish and im usually not a huge shortrib fan. there was a scallop dish that i enjoyed as well as the cheese plate with comes with a cashew butter.

          its romantic and yet a fun place...service is good.

          degustation is obviously much more intimate. i went on a date and was quite surprised how private it seemed despite sitting next to other couples eating next to us. standout dishes were the shortrib stuffed squid and sweetbreads that were tempura fried.

          id recommend both places...price wise, they are very similar...with a bottle of wine and bunch of food at either place, you can have a $110-140 bill or so.

          id also like to say ive left both places completely stuffed...i think i split 7 dishes at degustation and we barely touched our last item, lamb belly...