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All'Onda

I'm heading to All'Onda tonight.

Has anyone been? Thoughts? Recommendations? Although it's gotten a TON of buzz on Eater and other sites (they have some PR spend), I haven't seen anything on CH yet. In any event, the dishes on the menu look interesting, but some of the flavor combinations seem pretty aggressive. I will report back.

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  1. I read this and thought it was a parody of jerks opening a restaurant in Manhattan. But apparently it's not a joke!

    http://gotham-magazine.com/dining/art...

    It's not everybody who spends a weekend in Venice and decides New York is ready for them to "redefine Italian cuisine."

    Even the article indicates just how little respect these people have for actually using Venetian ingredients in their "Venetian-Japanese" high concept restaurant.

    They confess it can feel "gimmicky" to be doing this. Unsurprisingly, they managed to suppress that feeling.

    1. I hope its better than Basta Pasta.

      1. Please report back...i read a long interview w/ one of the owners and was interested in his ideas for the place (the longer interview was far less quippy than the Gotham article)...

        1. I had dinner there last night. I had no idea it was one of the most highly anticipated restaurant openings in 2014! The wait on a Friday night 7:30 pm wasn't bad. For a party of two, the wait for a table was 45 minutes, and for seats at the bar, no time at all. (They only take reservations for groups of 4 or more).

          The crowd tends to skew a little older. Lots of bankers and Real Housewives milling about, as well as girls' night out groups.

          I really enjoyed my meal at All'onda--the fusion of Italian and Japanese flavors actually worked. Although at certain times the Italian influences overpowered the Japanese ones, and you felt like you were just eating a tasty, traditional Italian meal.

          When the Italian and Japanese flavors coexisted, the combination brought an intriguing depth and complexity to the dish. This was especially true for the garganelli, a pasta dish seasoned with yuzu koshu, tarragon and peekytoe crab. If All’onda had stuck with the Italian rendition, this dish would have been extremely dense and briney. However, the Japanese aspects of citrus, spice and breadcrumbs brought balance and texture to an otherwise dark dish.

          As a contrast, the bucatini pasta tasted 100% Italian. It was very characteristic of the highly refined and incredibly rich pastas that have made Ai Fiori so successful. The noodles were cooked perfectly, plump and al dente, yet yielding ever so slightly to touch. They were lightly coated in a decadent cheese sauce, which was especially splendid with the smoked uni.

          We also ordered the sardines, the skate and a side of the Jerusalem artichokes. The sardines came highly recommended, and rightfully so, since they were pretty delectable. Sardines can be a bit fishy and intense, but these aspects were smoothed out by a bright and creamy fennel saffron puree, which tasted like an incredible honey mustard cream, and the golden raisins and bread crumbs further finessed the flavors.

          The skate was more thought-provoking than mind-blowingly delicious. It was covered in a dense Japanese tonkatsu gravy, which imparted a meat-like quality to it. I prefer more traditional preparations of skate (think pan-fried), so I couldn’t fully embrace this one.

          A surprising highlight from the night were the Jerusalem artichokes. If you’ve ever had the chance to eat some crispy duck or bacon-fat potatoes and loved the experience, then you must order them! They taste like a hybrid of potatoes, daikon and carrot. Very interesting yet tasty.

          Didn't try any of the desserts, but dinner was great. The food was well-executed, inventive yet still homey. Looks like All'onda lives up to the hype! Definitely get the pastas, sardines and Jerusalem artichokes!

          For more info and for pictures, you can find further description here: http://bit.ly/1iy4kyU

          1 Reply
          1. re: gabandgobble

            Thanks for this report. I can't wait to try it.

          2. I don't want to go just based on the Eater buzz alone. Huge turn off.

            1. Tried this eve- sat at the bar. I liked it, but didn't love it. Tried the arancini, rigatoni, bucatini with urchin, dorade and monkfish.

              Arancini was good, but not a must order. The Rigatoni (with duck I think?) was good, but not differentiated, however, was perfectly cooked, nice balance of meat and sauce-- very good. The Bucatini with sea urchin was unique-- with a smoky uni flavor-- different from other dishes I have tried, I love uni and it was really enjoyable. I'd go back again for this!

              For the mains-- we both went fish- Dorade and Monkfish. The dorade was nice, flavorful-- admit only tried a few bites. The monkfish was cooked nicely, but relatively bland. I wanted more flavor and dimensions to it, but relatively one sided... seems new on the menu, so hopefully will improve!

              Overall, enjoyable meal, great service at the bar, and nice neighborhood joint. Will it be a destination... not sure, needs to gets some kinks worked out, but the pastas are great, thus worth a shot!

              1. I ate there last night and although the staff was gracious and competent, I found the food I had to be way too salty. I sent back the spaghetti with manila clams. The dorade was tasty but the bed of tomato olive tapanade it sat on was also extremely salty. I loved the tuna crudi though. There was a large selection of wines in all price ranges. My bill reflected a no charge for the sphagetti and an extra amount taken off as well. Maybe I'll try All'Onda again in a few months to see if the chef modifies the salt.

                1. I guess I was a little late to notice this, and wasn't aware of all the hype. Called last week and though they seem to get booked up well in advance for later in the week, they had a slot open for Tuesday night, so I grabbed it.

                  We were very impressed with the food, the atmosphere is nice, service attentive, and it was not as horribly loud as I had read.

                  I really don't get why some people are offended if a restaurant does not serve the traditional food of whatever region it refers to, even if they do not purport to be doing that. My only concern is the quality of the food and if it is in some way interesting. All'Onda succeeds, at least with the dishes we tried.

                  Started with the garganelli with crab and the calf's liver.
                  The pasta had a wonderful flavor contrast and was pleasantly spicy. The liver was a small chunk of perfectly medium-rare meat and the accompanying sauce and lentils enhanced it beautifully (and I don't even normally like lentils).

                  For mains we had guinea hen and skate. We shared many tastes as they were both just wonderful. i loved the way the skate was so different from the standard pan-fried, the meat glaze adding a new dimension, and the fish was moist and tender. The beets and semolina dumplings were a great complement.

                  We tried the olive oil cake and it was typical olive oil cake. I'd probably skip dessert in future.

                  One other thing we really liked was the interesting beer selection. The Scotch Ale was superb.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: rrems

                    "I guess I was a little late to notice this, and wasn't aware of all the hype."

                    Sometimes it's best to not read any CH reviews before visiting a restaurant. :)

                  2. Two star review from Pete Wells:
                    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/26/din...

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: H Manning

                      Not at all surprised. What he says in in agreement with what I wrote in my post above.

                      I'd love to go back but now it will probably be even more impossible to reserve.

                      1. re: H Manning

                        awesome! i feel like Pete Wells and I are pretty much in agreement with what's good :) although he didn't like han dynasty lol

                        1. re: gabandgobble

                          Went last night and was not completely satisfied for the price. Started with the polenta chips w/baccala, while the chips were interesting the baccala had no real flavor, could have been anything. We next had the Hamachi which was delicious but at $17 would maybe expect a little more than 4 quarter-sized bites.

                          For mains I had the bucatini w/sea urchi which was absolutely fantastic, one of the most interesting, tasty pasta dishes I've had anywhere in the city. That said, the portion is TINY. My wife had the sea bass which was cooked perfectly but didn't have much flavor. We also had a side of potatoes which we both quite liked,

                          We each had a $10 drink, and with tip it came out to $140 and we both left hungry. The noise level didn't bother us and the service was fine, but for that much money, and considering it is by no means a fine dining restaurant with the atmosphere they've created, the price did not match the meal for us.

                      2. Just had another great meal tonight at All'Onda. This time we had sweetbreads, and bucatini with smoked sea urchin, then shared the short ribs with risotto. The short rib is even better than the one I love at Betony. Fabulous meal. Great beers once again, too. Unfortunately, the skate is no longer on the menu.

                        1. Prob old news by now, but I noticed they are accepting online resos now (via CityEats).