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They could very well be siblings, Café Altro Paradiso and Pasquale Jones: similar in demeanor and design and marked by a kindred upbringing. Both are anticipated sophomore efforts—the former, a follow-up to Ignacio Mattos and Thomas Carter’s genially esoteric, Obama-frequented Nolita dining room Estela; the latter, a sequel to Ryan Hardy, Grant Reynolds and Robert Bohr’s jaunty, wine-charged Soho spot Charlie Bird. Both are decidedly set in downtown’s cool-kid belt (Hudson Square and Nolita, respectively), and are members of New York’s nuova scuola of Italian trattorias, scruffy and slack-postured while they charge upwards of $20 for a bowl of spaghetti.
In terms of physical comforts, Café Altro Paradiso is an improvement upon its squat, clamorous ancestor, Estela: The 75-seat, split-level dining room is airy and bright, if nondescript, with bare white-oak finishes, vaulted ceilings and large windows flooding everything with natural light. A long brass-topped bar welcomes customers upon arrival, appeasing the women draped in leather jackets and men in crisply pressed suits with amaro cocktails and small-town Italian vino until their table is ready.