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Jul 21, 2014 09:11 AM

Alta, lately?

I have a reservation for Alta tomorrow night to celebrate my boyfriend's birthday but I'm second-guessing now. I know the food isn't very innovative or particularly interesting, and that's okay - I just need it to be good. Does anyone have recent reports for the quality? I admit that I'm partly picking it for ambiance (not usually a priority to me). I'm also thinking about Barbuto...

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  1. i was there a few months ago. i used to like the place even though small plates have come a long way since alta first opened.

    ill say i was less impressed by alta this time around. the service was rushed and not friendly like ive had in the past and the food felt very dated and boring.

    barbuto has become overrun by tourists over the last few years.

    id steer you to casa mono. i doubt the wait would be horrible on a tuesday night.

    1. Or try Cata, Alta's baby sister. Different setting (more casual rustic), arguably better food. Although its been a few years since I visited Alta. It turned me into Brussels Sprouts

      1 Reply
      1. re: Ziggy41

        actually, i went to cata too recently and felt it was rather inauthentic and mediocre as well. service was also pretty amateurish.

      2. Hm, these responses are not making me want to go to Alta. Maybe Montmartre instead?

        2 Replies
        1. re: betterbeheaven

          Montmarte is popular on this board, as is tertulia if you want spanish, or bar pitti for italian...

          1. re: Ttrockwood

            though it seems most of the praise for Montmartre is for the chef who has since left!

            I'm not attached to Spanish. Just want somewhere with good (not overly adventurous) food, nice ambiance, and moderately priced (entrees in 20s, under 100 for two people without drinks).

        2. I wouldnt be so quick to dismiss Alta based on the responses so far. Have you checked the recent {gulp} Yelp reviews or food blogs. Chances are good if you go with their classics...

          Bacon Wrapped Dates (without olives, just ask for dates. personal choice but olives with bacon just doesnt do it for me)
          Goat Cheese with lavender
          Brussels Sprouts

          The gnocchi sounds good, spaghetti pepperoncini if I remember was simple but tasty. Lamb meatballs seem popular but dont believe I had it. The lamb tagine I would order in a minute. Perhaps Sam or anyone else can chime in on other items.

          Talking about tagine, Bar Bolonat is another option. But much more limited menu

          2 Replies
          1. re: Ziggy41

            so glad that you came to Alta's defense. i had booked it for my wife's birthday and almost changed our plans based on this and a few other recent reports. ultimately, we kept the reservation and had a great meal and excellent service.

            some of the house rules are frustrating - having to call same-day to confirm your reservation, AmEx or cash only, no online reservation system - and they were quick to tell us that they were just making plans to give up our table when we arrived ten minutes late during a snow storm. not a great start, but that all changed when dishes started hitting the table. the menu was a bit different from what's online right now, but highlights were the grilled octopus, shrimp and chorizo, mushroom flatbread, grilled calamari, and the fried goat cheese. yeah, the roasted beets weren't a revelation and neither was the paella, but there wasn't a dish that i'd hesitate to order again.

            1. re: coasts

              Sweet! I've been itching to come back lately, and now the itch is more like a full blown rash. I'll keep your highlights in mind, thanks