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Café Altro Paradiso

Restaurants, Italian West Village
3 out of 5 stars
 (Filip Wolak)
Filip WolakRavioli with fava beans at Café Altro Paradiso
 (Filip Wolak)
Filip WolakOctopus with chickpeas at Café Altro Paradiso
 (Filip Wolak)
Filip WolakFluke crudo at Café Altro Paradiso
 (Filip Wolak)
Filip WolakCafé Altro Paradiso
 (Filip Wolak)
Filip WolakCafé Altro Paradiso

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

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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.

But on the plate, things are a bit too comfortable, even bordering on complacent. Mattos, overseeing chef de cuisine Aidan O’Neal (M. Wells Dinette) in the kitchen, made a name for himself with his cutting-edge, space-oddity cooking at the now-shuttered South Williamsburg restaurant Isa, and even his mellower work at Estela can seem downright kooky in comparison to Altro’s middlebrow dishes. Carpaccio ($18), fixed with fried capers, potato chips and a puddle of aged balsamic, may have the same genetic makeup as Estela’s exemplary steak tartare, but it doesn’t thrill the way that sunchoke-studded stunner does.

Fennel salad with Castelvetrano olives and curls of provolone has a nice citrus pluck ($15), as does fluke crudo dotted with caper berries ($16), but such starters are uniformly pale in color and paltry of portion. Things liven up around the menu’s house-made pastas: ricotta-plump ravioli with fava beans and meaty black truffle ($23) and pudgy gnocchi pillows with nubs of sausage and pecorino stagionato ($22). Pastas are meant to occupy dinner’s midcourse, but with mains like a characterless chicken milanese ($28) following, you’re better off making a meal out of them.

By: Christina Izzo



Address: 234 Spring St
New York
Cross street: between Sixth Ave and Varick St
Transport: Subway: 1 to Houston St
Price: Average main course: $18
Opening hours: Mon-Thu 5:30-11pm; Fri, Sat 5:30pm-midnight
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