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“Follow me down a Spanish rabbit-hole”

Alta

64 W. 10th St. (nr. Sixth Ave.)

New York, NY

Once you’ve made the tourist pilgrimage to NYC, later trips usually revolve around exploring the more obscure offerings of the City. Since I always find myself in situations where I need to optimally allocate my monetary funds between food and shopping, I end up settling on tasty but relatively budget-friendly eats.

Alta turned out to be one of these places. A Mediterranean and Tapas bar, Alta can be found in a West Village rabbithole. The atmosphere is cozy and a touch romantic with its dim candle-light and understatedly elegant furnishings. Service is friendly and relatively fast; our own server possessed the right balance of roguish charm and hospitality.

Three to four orders were plenty filling, although some of my more voracious companions complained about the plate size. The entire menu ranges from $3-$15, most of the dishes falling between $5 and $10. Be sure to come with at least two or three friends so you can rotate through dishes. The presentation was dainty and flavoring strong without being overpowering. Some of the best dishes consisted of ingredients I normally would not approach with a six-foot pole. Our server suggested a house favorite- crispy brussels sprouts cooked with sliced fuji apples, crème fraiche and pistachio nuts. Although I was initially dubious, I think the dish might have converted me into a brussel sprouts fan; another interesting plate was the bacon wrapped dates & olives, stuffed with almonds. I’d opted to exclude the olives ; despite the diminutive portion, the dish was rich and a surprisingly tasty combination of sweet and salty. The house-made Jonah crab ravioli was also on the rich side; I was perhaps distracted more by the butter foam to make a nuanced opinion of ravioli.

Alta is the perfect place to explore unique flavors without breaking the bank. Its quaint and low-profile setting is best for an after-work bite – especially for those interning in the City this summer!