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Café Altro Paradiso

Restaurants, Italian West Village
Recommended
3 out of 5 stars
 (Filip Wolak)
1/5
Filip WolakRavioli with fava beans at Café Altro Paradiso
 (Filip Wolak)
2/5
Filip WolakOctopus with chickpeas at Café Altro Paradiso
 (Filip Wolak)
3/5
Filip WolakFluke crudo at Café Altro Paradiso
 (Filip Wolak)
4/5
Filip WolakCafé Altro Paradiso
 (Filip Wolak)
5/5
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

Posted:

Details

Address: 234 Spring St
New York
10013
Cross street: between Sixth Ave and Varick St
Transport: Subway: 1 to Houston St
Price: Average main course: $18
Contact:
Opening hours: Mon-Thu 5:30-11pm; Fri, Sat 5:30pm-midnight
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