The Allure of Alta

Imagine being transported to a wonderful Spanish home with an endless selection of  mouth watering Catalan cuisine you could only indulge in a foreign land. Well, guess what, its not as far away as you thought.

Known to some as a West Village staple, Alta is a wonderful restaurant for any occasion. Their extensive menu accommodates anyone from the experimental foodie to the locally sourcing vegetarian. Despite Alta’s discrete residence, tucked away on West 10th street, New Yorkers have been in-the-know about this neighborhood gem for ages and for good reason.

We enjoyed everything we had from the crispy brussels sprouts and Catalonia flatbread to the tantalizing torija dessert, which I cannot find a recipe for anywhere! The decor, the rich flavorful tapas, and the phenomenal wine made for a memorable evening, though leaving more to be desired… There’s about twenty or so other tapas I’ve yet to try!

But if I can leave you with one recommendation it would be to order a bottle of the Celler Cecilio L’Espill (Vintage 2000). This smooth Catalonian wine, made in Priorat, Spain,  perfectly compliments any of Alta’s tapas and your palette!

Dishes I tried…

*my favorites

Carpaccio Of Beef horseradish créme frâiche foam, orange supremes

*Crispy Brussels Sprouts fuji apples, crème fraiche, pistachio nuts

Lamb Meatballs spiced butternut squash foam, toasted sesame seeds and lebne

Skewer of Grilled & Maple glazed Duck Breast foie gras emulsion, Marsala reduction

*Coca (Catalonian Flatbread) oven roasted mushrooms, fresh ricotta, truffled boschetto, herbs

*Torija (Dessert) marcona almond croquant, mandarin sauce, lebne sorbet, and grapefruit air

ALTA

60 W. 10th Street

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Thanksgiving Sides: Mac & Cheese, Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows, & Brussels Sprouts oh my!

Thanksgiving sides turn an ordinary Turkey dinner into a fabulous feast. And winter favorites like butternut squash, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts and cranberries seem to be the most celebrated of the season. The vibrant colors of these seasonal delights paired with their rich textures and flavors contributes that warm holiday feeling Thanksgiving reminds us of.

Like the curious cook I am, I’ve been scouring the web for new Thanksgiving sides recipes on Bon Appetit, Cooking Light, the Food Network among others. Some of the more memorable Thanksgiving sides I’ve come across are:

Roasted Butternut Squash Polenta with Fried Sage

Bacon, Apple, & Fennel Stuffing

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Lemon & Pistachios

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Maple Cinnamon Sage Brown Butter

Cranberry-Apple Relish

For my Pre-Thanksgiving Dinner we served a few Thanksgiving sides that you will have the privilege of seeing first hand. All of the recipes will be uploaded tomorrow and next week so please check back for additional details and pictures.

Corinne's Mac & CheeseCorinne’s Mac & Cheese

Jana's Brussels SproutsJana’s Brussels Sprouts

Elissa's Sweet Potatoes with MarshmallowsElissa’s Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows

Sarah’s Stir Fried Broccoli with Almonds

Jana’s Brussels Sprouts*

Ingredients

  • 3 Packages Cups of Brussels Sprouts (approximately 2-2 1/2 lbs)
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preparation

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Wash Brussels sprouts, cut off their stems, and shed their outer most layer.

2. Place the prepared Brussels Sprouts in a rectangular baking dish Drizzle with Olive oil until all pieces have been gently covered. Do not go crazy with the Olive Oil!

3. Lightly sprinkle the Brussels Sprouts with Salt & Pepper and bake for approximately 20-25 minutes or until brown and crispy.

*This recipe was contributed by Jana Lewis, another NYC resident who is originally from Syosset, New York. Jana is currently studying medicine and is an up-and-coming resident.

For another great Brussels Sprouts recipe visit Delicious Days and Eat, Think, & Be Merry.

Jana's Brussels Sprouts

Jana's Brussels Sprouts

Pre-Thanksgiving Festivities

I don’t know about you, but Thanksgiving mostly makes me think of eating. And I don’t just mean eating anything out of the ordinary, but delicious seasonal dishes that, for me, begin with the Union Square Green Market. The Green Market is where my dream of endless Butternut Squashes, Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli, and Apples become a reality!

On a leisurely walk through Saturday’s Green Market, I couldn’t help admiring all of the incredibly fresh winter fruits and vegetables. Although my purpose at the Green Market was to pick up the infamous $1 3-Pound bag of apples for an apple pie, I couldn’t help picking up a few other seasonal ingredients on the way. The Green Market is mixed in terms of pricing, but you always leave reassured that you’ve purchased the freshest produce of the season.

The Largest Broccoli I've Ever Seen!

The Largest Broccoli I've Ever Seen!

Apples

Migliorelli Apples

$1 3-Pound Bag of Apples

$1 3-Pound Bag of Apples

Brussel Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts

BottleRocketAfter leaving the market I stopped off at a nearby wine shop called BottleRocket. I’d read in a recent Eats.com newsletter that BottleRocket was hosting a complimentary Pre-Thanksgiving Wine and Food Pairing with City Bakery. Although BottleRocket’s interior was slightly small, they made the most of their space by setting up different food and wine stations throughout the store. Each guest was greeted with a taste of Champagne which was followed by a taste of City Bakery’s Thankgiving Menu which featured turkey,stuffing, two different kinds of potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and some gingerbread cookies for dessert. My favorite dishes on the menu were the Multigrain Bread Stuffing with Mushrooms, Herbs, & Aromatic Vegetables and the Sweet Potatoes with Grilled Pineapple and Toasted Homemade Marshmallows paired with the $9 Sauvignon Blanc (who’s name currently escapes me).

And after a wonderful afternoon of mouthwatering Thanksgiving bites and plentiful sips of wine, I began thinking about my own Pre-Thanksgiving festivities. Thanksgiving is the perfect excuse to get together with friends for a nice home cooked meal. And though it isn’t quite Thanksgiving yet, it’s close enough.

A few friends and I got together last night for a Pre-Thanksgiving dinner with all the traditional fix-ins. And I must admit that I was quite impressed with everyone’s cooking skills. Between the Macaroni & Cheese, the Barbeque Chicken, the Sweet Potatoes, and the Pumpkin Bread you’d think one would have their Thanksgiving fill. But until my Christmas Vacation rolls along, Thanksgiving dishes will be a regular staple which I look forward to sharing with all of you.

The recipes from our Pre-Thanksgiving dinner will be posted throughout the week, so please check back for more information about each dish along with enticing photos.

PRE-THANKSGIVING DINNER MENU

Pre-Thanksgiving Dinner Spread

Pre-Thanksgiving Dinner Spread

Appetizers

Main Course

  • Roast Chicken Kosher
  • Barbeque Chicken

Sides

Desserts