Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
May 18, 2009 06:05 PM


Anyone been yet? Reviews?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. A friend and I ate at the chef's table last night, and it was a wonderful meal. We had a 9pm rez and there was a delay at the beginning, but the chef apologized profusely and brought out an extra app. We had the razor clams, ramps with crisped pigs ears (unbelievably yummy and great flavor/texture combinations), spring consomme, shrimp alhinho (the pimenton flavor was outstanding), arroz de pato (essentially a duck paella), and scallops (perfectly cooked). We also shared a relatively inexpensive bottle of Portuguese red.

    We were too stuffed to try the desserts, but will definitely be going back. I can see this becoming a go-to restaurant for me.

    1 Reply
    1. re: cbking

      thanks for the review. Have to try it. Love George Mendes' cooking.

    2. Exceptionally good, I thought - not least the prices. The popular arroz de pato entree, for example, $20 - rare duck breast, braised leg meat, chorizo, rice of course. Don't miss the small bites at the top of the menu, especially the sea urchin toast.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Wilfrid

        Great recs. The sea urchin toast and arroz de pato were amazing. Also tried the octopus a la plancha with chickpeas and black ash (???) . Delicious, the dish did not taste ashy, just a bit smokey. I liked the sonhos too. Last night they were served with spiced chocolate, concord grape, and apple cider caramel. Can't wait to return.

      2. Excellent. We had the peas with bacon, egg and truffles, the baby squid, roast baby goat and pork belly with clams. For dessert, rhubarb soup and caramelized brioche. Loved every dish. The kitchen was a bit slow but the staff was very apologetic and each dish came out perfect. Really delicious bread, too. The place is still new so they need a little time to get the timing worked out. I can't wait to go back.

        3 Replies
        1. re: rrems

          Rrems: I plan to go to Aldea this week. Were you pleased with all the dishes you ordered? (Each one of them sounds "right up my alley!")

          1. re: erica


            Yes, we loved all the dishes, but especially the goat and cuttlefish. Next time I really want to try that duck paella. The quality was so high I can't imagine any dish being a mistake to order. Let us know how it works out.

            1. re: rrems

              RRems: I took your advice and ordered the cuttle fish and the goat and both were fantastic! The goat was so mild and delicious; it was served with chanterelles and other mushrooms, and cherries. Spectacular! Equally spectacular was the cuttle fish dish--the "Thai-ish" combination of flavors was a "wow!" I scooped up every last bite of the sauce, after finishing the fish.

              My friends ordered the shrimp, which I tasted and also give very high marks (love the smoked pimenton--shrimp were truly excellent) and the arroz de pato--very, very happy with those. I tasted the duck, too, and have it on my list for next time. There is both confit and magret in the rice, along with chorizo.

              We tried the ramp/pig's ear for the table. Interesting combination of flavors, but not an essential for me.

              Desserts looked intriguing but we behaved and shared one lonely dish of three sorbets--vanilla coconut, spicy plum, and one more which I have forgotten. Served with a tuile-like cookie. Excellent.

              We were seated upstairs which was much quieter than the main room. So while we did not get to see the open kitchen, we were very pleased. Definitely worth a return visit soon! Thanks for all of your help!!

        2. we went last night, and had:

          ramps/pig ears
          duck ham (not ham, but done in the style of it)
          mushroom consomme (with ravioli? which "pop" in your mouth)
          shrimp alhinho
          arroz de pato
          pork loin.
          strawberry and chocolate dessert dishes.

          the ONLY complaint we had was that there was definitely too much salt in both entrees. i like salt, but this was way too much, and it wasn't unique to the pork or chorizo. but the food was quite good.

          service was exceptional, wine was affordable. nice place.

          1 Reply
          1. re: bob gaj

            I went a few days after opening, and 3 out of 4 dishes we had were great, the lone exception being the razor clams, which was very disappointing because it's perhaps my favorite clam, the foam on it really detracted from the flavor I thought. The monkfish was fantastic.

          2. We went last night. Service was excellent. No issues with noise (one lively table behind us) even though room is rather long and narrow. Now on to the food:

            BREAD - great flavor, olive bread was a little old (my teeth got tired), really good olive oil

            We had a bottle of Alion Ribera Del Duero Cosecha 2005. Thanks again to our server for her excellent suggestion.

            SMALL BITES:

            *Knollcrest farm egg (bacalao, black olive, potato) - served in an egg. Delicious.
            *Sea urchin toast (cauliflower cream, sea lettuce, lime) - very good


            Duck ham, house cured - interesting, never had it before, good. Barbecue type sauce on the side. Probably would not get again.


            *Lightly cured spanish mackeral, meter lemon, almond milk, crunchy soy - amazing flavors, loved this
            *Shrimp alhinho (garlic, coriander, pimenton, pressed jus) - very good, another favorite


            *Arroz de pato/duck confit, chorizio, olive, duck cracklings, rice - delicious, loved this dish. Duck was cooked so incredibly perfect. Appreciate that chef was able to accomodate request to serve chorizio on the side.


            *SONHOS "little dreams" - spiced chocolate, smoked paprika apricot (loved this sauce!), hazelnut praline (a creamy sauce)

            PS This is how I wanted to feel after dining at Corton and spending over twice as much . . . finally a new place that deserves the praise and is not overhyped/overrated.