All Reader Reviews of...
31 W. 17th St., New York, NY, 10011
nr. Fifth Ave.
Michelin Rated Done Right
By sprungonfood on 2/15/2014
I had an amazing experience here. Let's begin. The staff and service is incredible, genuine, attentive, but, you know, not up your ass...which, I like. Aldea has an open kitchen. I'm obsessed with open kitchens; you get to see the masters at work, and, always rest assured, know that there's no funny business going around behind the scenes. If ever there are signature cocktails, I have to try one. This is The Royal 5th: Partida Blanco Tequila, Del Maguey Mezcal, Palo Cortado, honey, orange bitter=awesome. You can read the rest of my review with photos here: sprungonfood.com/2013/10/10/aldea
Awesome Perfect Dinner
By seabear on 4/29/2012
The food at Aldea is exceptionally well considered from presentation to taste without having it feel constrained, molded or squeezed out of a tube. There is warmth and comfort in your environment regardless that you are being surrounded by glass. The staff is very courteous and helpful. The food is just plain amazing. Everything is so fresh. I CAN'T RECOMMEND ENOUGH THE SEA URCHIN TOAST. I can seriously eat those all night. Also, definitely you must try the Poached Hen Egg with Sweat Bread and the Suckling Pig. I kept eyeing the bread man and demanding more delicious tiny bread. I highly recommend this place. I will definitely come back to try the rest of the menu.
Serious Food with a Smile
By RobGeils on 2/18/2011
My wife took me to Aldea 2/18/11 for my birthday, and it was superb. I had an excellent shrimp app and a perfectly poached cod on a bed of forbidden black rice. My wife had a grilled octopus with a roast chick pea stew to start and a sous vide cooked hanger steak with morels. The food was creative and delicious, and the service was friendly and knowledgeable. What a great place!
Aldea has a Flavor Story to Savor
By karmalaw on 9/27/2010
Pretense and hype abound in the restaurant industry and the masses seem to willingly flock to the "Emperor's New Food" at every sounding of the Trend Alert. But, Aldea thankfully delivers on flavor rather than fluff. I found that Chef George Mendes has that gift of flavor and he passionately shares it. He blends notes that unveil in my mouth like a short story in each bite (sometimes the story is bold, sometimes you have to "listen quietly" because it's a subtle story)-- at a price-point that makes me flash forward to some conversation in years future about multi-starred chefs and I'm uttering the phrase "I remember going to Aldea when I could have a 4 course meal and a glass of wine or two for under $100 a person" and my audience looks at me disbelievingly. From the vantage of the Chef's Counter you can see every step your meal takes from the evidently skilled sous chefs to its completion with the Chef -- there's none of the front of the house glad-handing while a line cook in the bowels of the building plops mediocrity onto your plate. Even a few solo meals felt like a privilege when sitting at the Chef's Counter (no table-by-the-bathroom Siberia for solo diners). From the non-attitudinal hostesses/reservationists to the first rate bartender to the competent service to the food -- from the iconic arroz con pato, to the pork belly to the cured fluke to the dessert -- Aldea is a flavor story to savor.
By Durbsant on 9/1/2010
No razzle-dazzle, just simple, thoughtful, perfectly conceived dishes. Good, unobtrusive service. Memorable, overall.
Not worth the price
By anadelgado on 8/30/2010
The only thing worth going back for was the duck rice dish. The rest of the food was not worth the price. Each dish had one over powering element that would throw the whole dish off.
Superb dining experience
By basspro76 on 7/29/2010
Went to Aldea last night at 5:30 for dinner before a concert. Walked in as the first customers and were seated in front of the open kitchen. Chef Mendes was bent over his work station painstakingly picking apart various herbs and garnishes and placing them in plastic bins for later garnishing; nice to see such attention to detail. Ordered the Sea Urchin Toast to start, thoroughly enjoying the artistic display put forth to create the dish before my eyes. Almost as enjoyable as the taste itself; A buttery smooth blend of oceanic flavors and textures. Octopus La Plancha came next followed by the Chatum Cod and Arroz de Pato. All dishes served were a unique and palate pleasing experience. Desert was the only minor complaint. My sugared dougnuts were served too hot and airy and the dipping sauce was not on par with the rest of the meal. However, the sorbet dish was one of the best I've ever had. Another note, all the chefs were easily approachable and although they were working non stop, took the time to answer any and all dining questions. Highly recommended
By brianjames on 4/24/2010
went to aldea a few months back on a date and absolutely loved it. super friendly and professional service, both at the bar and at the table, welcoming and soothing decor that seems to recede into the background, leaving you and your date feeling like you're in a private space. the appetizers were strikingly good, with unique flavors and presentations that made for fun conversation. ample wine list and knowledgeable servers were both a nice touch. all around one of the better dining experiences i've had in the past six months. my only non-glowing memory was that the main courses seemed to slightly pale compared to the starters - but we may have already been too full by then to assess fairly. overall great place for a date or a business meal. bravo.
By alexine on 4/10/2010
Went to Aldea thursday night, and had an amazing night. The restaurant is beautifully decorated, modern but still inviting, and the service was really good. We felt welcome from the moment we stepped in, all the way through dinner until the moment we left the restaurant. The food is very good too, I had the musselsoup and the skate, my friend had the salad and the steak, both for a very reasonable price, with a bottle of wine at a reasonable price as well. Dessert (caramelized brioche) was lovely, and overall I had a wonderful night. I would recommend this restaurant to everybody that wants to have a great night.
OK Now I'm Happy!
By imonroidz on 1/5/2010
Just came back from having lunch here with a coworker, and it was fantastic! We both ordered the prix-fixe ($20.09) which did not disappoint at all. My appetizer, the potato and leek soup with bacon was exactly what I needed after coming in from the frigid cold outside. Next, the skate "a la planxa" entree was done to perfection...lightly grilled and not overcooked. Highly recommended. Can't wait to come back for dinner now.
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