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Atera vs Blanca

Looking for a special chefs counter dinner and have already done Brooklyn Fare which we loved. Have also had two good meals and Momofuku Ko.

Are trying to decide between Atera and Blanca. Price wise both are pretty much the same. Food wise Blanca seems more driven by the product and Atera seems more technique driven. Both of which interest us.

Kind of stuck here. Which would you recommend and why?

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  1. Been to both: Atera without any hesitation. I found Blanca to be a little too impressed with themselves for food and service that pales in comparison with Atera. Blanca is the perfect example of the "emperor has no clothes". The food at Atera is innovative and delicious, and the service is very polished and friendly. I left Blanca wanting to stop into Roberta's for a pizza--yes, I was that hungry. There was nothing wrong with the food at Blanca, but it is not in the same league as Atera. Plus the silly policy of no note taking using a smartphone at Blanca, although they were okay with pen and paper. Don't even get me started about the schlep to Bushwick (and I'm a native Brooklynite by way of Sheepshead Bay).

    Sorry for my tirade, but the bottom line is when I leave Atera, I eagerly look forward to my next dinner. When I left Blanca, I laughed--at myself for a huge waste of time, money and calories!

    2 Replies
    1. re: ellenost

      i didn't know you cared about calories.....guess not.

      1. re: Monica

        I lost 35+ pounds last year and have maintained the weight loss for more than 15 months. There is nothing that I hate more is wasting calories on "okay" food. If the food isn't spectacular, I don't even want to waste my time and certainly not the calories on it. Which explains why my dining is centered around truly special restaurants.

    2. I prefer Blanca, shorter meal, simple preps of quality ingredients, maybe a bit subtle for some people.

      Atera is more technique driven, to the point some may feel "what was the point making that dish so complicated."

      1. I have never been to Blanca, but my one meal at Atera was a wonderful, memorable experience.

        My only complaint is with the pacing of the meal. Other than that, it was very enjoyable.

        2 Replies
        1. re: ipsedixit

          Was the pacing too rushed or too slow?

          1. re: Heeney

            Both.

            Some courses were plated too quickly where we felt we did not have sufficient time to savor, appreciate and reflect on the food or the wine before the next course was served.

            A couple times we felt it lingered too long, such that both of us started eyeing out server ...

            In a meal where there are more than 20 courses, I suppose this is a bit inevitable, but it was a hiccup that sullied, a bit, what otherwise was a wonderful meal.

        2. I strongly agree with ellenost. Blanca is very weak for a restaurant at its price point. Atera, on the other hand, is fabulous.

          1. Just a quick update that we did choose Atera and were thankful we did because it was a fantastic experience. I'll post a review later but it was a fantastic meal and atera is certainly playing in the top tier ground of restaurants in the city.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Heeney

              Glad you enjoyed Atera. I have an upcoming reservation so I look forward to your report.