11 East 53rd Street, New York, NY | Directions 1002240.760056 -73.974965
Mon-Fri 12pm-2:15pm, 5:30pm-10pm
Neighborhoods: Midtown Center, Midtown
Wonderful Experience! – I must say I was completely shocked to read the older reviews for this restaurant from 2005. Whatever happened in the past year I can safely say that Alto has fixed it all. I ordered off the restaurant week menu (which they are retaining for the rest of the summer) and was shocked at what I received for my money. The homemade spaghetti may not seem like much of a dish on the menu, but the pasta was cooked perfectly and the slightest hint of red pepper gave the sauce a wonderful kick. The chocolate ganache for dessert was also wonderful, and a generous portion for a restaurant week menu. The other members of my party ordered off the regular menu and were equally pleased with their dishes. My friend specifically commented on the freshness of the fish he ordered. The staff was beyond attentive and helpful. I cannot wait to come back here!
Ahead of the Pack..... – I have been to this restaurant several times....It is near my office. I have found that it is perhaps the only Italian in New York or The US. that truly represents the food of Italy's North. The service is nothing but gracious and attentive, the food is always ALWAYS inspired, fresh and interesting but not off putting.
It really does match the great restaurants of Italy. Also, the wine list so think and vast......It is just a find. Also the private rooms are very nice. Too good to identify by Italian standards. It is far ahead of the pack.
Contempt for Restaurant Week Customers – Why is this restaurant participating in restaurant week? 4 at lunchwith 1:45 pm late reservationsonly to be seated in a far corner of an empty dinning room--to be virtually ignored The expected restaurant week entrees, chicken, pasta, and salmon but the appetizers were at a new low -- a beet and goat cheese salad that tasted& looked fresh from Gristedes, (the goat cheese reminded us of synthetic cream cheese) slivers of scallops that had know better days and a mushroom polenta that was like baby food with presentations close to a coffee shop--rabbit pasta was salty and tasteless and the salmon dry--the desserts were similarly uninspired--portions were minisicule --the bread, pretzels rolls and potatoe and onion, with a good olive oil they obviously give "real customers" was the best part of a really bad meal that shows obvious contempt for customers and restaurant week.
User review by marialiva – The sommelier was surpiringly rude, considering the rest of the staff was delightful. We found it odd that they don't open the bottle of wine at your table. Instead, they show you the bottle unopened, take it to the back, and open it in private, and allegedly taste it first as well. When we asked the sommelier about it, he was not only defensive, but arrogant and rude in his response... and almost refused to open the bottle at the table until we insisted. He was very unprofessional and very unbusinesslike. I loved this restaraunt but i most likely will never go back there because of the way he treated our party.
Creative Italian – Having dined in many of New Yorks Italian restaurants I must say the creative approach to Scott Conants Alto is a breath of fresh air to an otherwise mundane level of Italian cusine throughout the city. There are no meatballs and Lasagne here, there was actual thinking behind the menu. Our server Michealango was outstanding and made us feel very comfortable we had a great time. Next time we come to New York we will definatley be back can't wait
Terrible service – This is the first time I've been moved to add a review to a restaurant, I am so unhappy with the treatment we received. I took 4 work colleagues for lunch, we took the 'expresso' menu. It took over an hour and a half to receive appetiser, main and coffee (20 minute wait just to get cappucinos). Despite the fact that we were all in business attire, we were seated away in a corner, and it was very difficult to get service - even though the restaurant did not appear to be busy. Servings were small, acceptable quality, but should have not taken so long to considering they were on a prix fix. I just hope the reason that we got such bad service was not because my four work colleagues were indian and chinese.
Disappointing – Had high hopes for this Conant venue. Service is over-attentive and forbearing. Menu sounds creative but often misses the mark. It seems that the staff have not eaten many of the items they are recommending. Just felt like details were missing or a lack of and enthusiastic endorsement. This atmosphere may work for some but came off as sterile to our group.
Great whole fish – The whole fish was excellent--not overcooked and served in a light tomato broth. The soft shell crab in a pea soup concoction was excellent. The cheese serving was skimpy. They treated me, as a single, very nicely. I would go back.
Wonderful food, wonderful service – Wonderful service and delicious food. We had to leave early and couldn't do all the course meals, but the restaurant was very, very nice about it and made sure that we got to have a good dining experience nonetheless. On top of superb food, impeccable service from start to finish.
A little chilly inside so should bring a jacket or shawl. It may be good to know that they serve prix fixe menus for dinner at the table and a la carte at the bar.
Bravo Mr Conant Bravo – Awesome favor, balance and creativity, this is something you will not find in this city. The chef Scott Conant doesnt go after the main stream Italian dishes, nope he goes where most have never tasted. For those of you that are familiar with the writings of Ayn Rand, I would tell you that Mr.Conants new restaurant reminds me of the book the Fountainhead. His motivation for food is his ego, and he practically ignores the ideas of others. After meeting Mr. Conant he beamed of self-confidence that makes
his food irresistible. 'The self-sufficient, self-confident, the end of ends, the joy of cooking personified.' Conant is a chef who does not follow the typical path to success--he follows his own ideals rather than the rules of his predecessors. He achieves success without compromise. Bravo Mr. Conant Bravo!! Alto is a gleam of culinary delight all must experience.
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