Atera 4th Visit — New York City (1/2017)

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A restaurant I had planned to dine at for the first time cancelled my reservation a day in advance due to unforeseen circumstances.  I managed to secure a last-minute reservation at Atera.  It had been about 18 months since my last visit.  It was a Saturday night, so I was a little surprised that a spot was available for the early seating.  But it was there on Opentable.com, so I took it.  Once I booked it, I was committed, since they have a 48-hour cancellation policy.

I was seated soon after arriving.  It looked like there were a few staff changes, but also some familiar faces.  They did remember that I had been there before.  I had a side seat this time (despite what they said about solo diner placement the last time). We started with a hot towel to freshen up.

The wine list by the glass seemed longer than the last time.  They also offered both a standard pairing and premium pairing (but no explicit premium by the glass offerings).  I went with a glass of the Puligny-Montrachet (from a magnum), which was premium enough.

We started the menu off with a beverage of lime snow and warm juniper foam.

Fermented mushrooms and burgundy truffle were served on a crispy waffle as the next small bite.

For the full write-up, click here.

 

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Atera — New York City (7/2015)

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Although this was my third visit to Atera, it was more like a first visit again.  The original chef of Atera left a couple of months before, with a new chef (another Noma alumnus) being installed about a month or so prior to my visit.  Conceptually, the restaurant is the same, focused on a small plates tasting menu using fresh, local ingredients.  With that, my expectation was a more Nordic approach to flavors.  The menu below was actually presented at the end of the meal.

I was told it was not a coincidence that I was sitting in the exact same spot as my prior visits.  It’s the seat for the solo diner.

I selected a glass of the Chassagne Montrachet white Burgundy to go with the start of the meal.

After a hot towel, they brought a cup of green tomato water with juniper oil, which was a fragrant and sweet refreshing start.  Soon after, they offered a plate of herbs and flowers (nasturtium, fava leaf, agretti, lime mint, pea flower all from their herb garden) with a shrimp emulsion dip.  They had just started serving the dish on this evening.

For the full write-up, click here.

Atera 2nd Visit — New York City (9/2013)

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I first visited Atera about 14 months prior to this visit.  Then, it was relatively new and you could book via OpenTable.com.  Now, it is a 2-star Michelin restaurant, you have to pay in advance (food+tax+gratuity), and it is often difficult to get a seat on the weekend.  The only things you pay for at the end are your beverages.  I decided that since I was going to be working in New York for a week, I could book a dinner during the week.  I ended up booking a late dinner (the 9:30pm seating) on a Thursday night.  I wanted to go back and see how the place had evolved.

I arrived a little early but it was not a problem.  They led me down to the “new” lunge located on a lower level.  It’s a nice cozy area with a bar and lounge seating.  They have a cocktail and short wine list that you can choose from.  I stuck with the water (still or sparkling) that they offered.

The restaurant looked the same as before, with seats arranged around a U-shaped counter with a view of the kitchen area.  They were not fully occupied this evening, with a couple of seats empty.  They sat me in the exact same spot – center with a straight on view of the kitchen.  The vibe seemed different now, as there was 80’s music playing at medium volume.  The overall ambience seemed a little less formal than my prior visit.

For the full write-up, click here.

Atera — New York City (6/2012)

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I only heard about Atera though a review in New York Magazine.  Since I had a trip coming up and they were on Opentable.com, I thought I would give it a try.  It also happened to be within walking distance of my planned hotel for the trip.  The chef spent some time at noma in Copenhagen, so my expectations included fresh, local ingredients presented in unique ways.

The restaurant is not big.  It was even a little hard to find.  There was no sign outside that I saw.  The list of tenants did not include the restaurant.  But you walk in the front door to the lobby of the building and the restaurant is just there on the left.  There is one u-shaped counter that seats 13 (I had seat #7, which placed me center on looking at the kitchen area.  There was also a table for four off to the rear on the left.

 

For the full write-up, click here.