Since eating at Alta in NYC, I have tried to recreate one of their dishes no less than half a dozen times. Listed on the menu as brussel sprouts with Granny Smith apples, pistachios and creme fraiche, it epitomizes the food I ate there.What arrived was a heavenly combination: roasted sprouts topped with an apple cider and vinegar reduction, the tart apples, earthy pistachios and dollops of cream. Each dish there replicated this experience: a seemingly simple sounding dish that I wanted to order over and over again.
The balls of fried goat cheese with lavender infused honey were precisely that addictive sweet and salty treat that are such a treat at a restaurant.
The same was true of the decadent chunks of seared fois gras that were paired beautifully with buttery tastes of brioche, mango ginger chutney, pistachios and bee pollen.
The housemade grilled merguez, toasted falafel, red wine pudding, and lebne goat cheese sauce was a meaty compliment to the other dishes.
Our waitress steered us towards the "Enormous Whole Shrimp." The giant gambas were simultaneously succulent and smoky. Desserts were just as delicious.
We began with a sweet and sour play on french toast: Marcona almond croquant, with marscapone gelato, pineapple "air" and pomegranate sauce.
The finale: warm and crispy ricotta churros with 2 delicious sauces: an apple lemon thyme and a blood orange Compari. We dipped the crisp curls again and again until we had nearly licked the plates.
There is no equivalent of Alta in Boston. Perhaps that is for the best: With over 45 dishes on their menu, I am not sure I would ever go anywhere else! But for now I can dream of going back, and struggling with ordering something new or just repeating the delights that I had the first time.