Aldea

31 W 17th St. New York, NY 10011(212) 675-7223aldearestaurant.com

arroz-de-pato

Sometimes I think Michelin and I aren’t on the same page. I mean, sure the place is good. But great is pushing it. The service is painfully slow. Decor is fine. Nothing special. Clean. Simple. Modern.

But the food, it just never seemed to get to that next level of transcendent foodgasm status. And I had all of the signature recommended dishes.

That said, they started strong with an amuse bouche that rocked. But unfortunately I can’t even remember what it was, because it was followed by so many lesser bites, it drowned the memory on my taste buds.

The cured meats and cheeses, for example, I found to be less flavorful than anything you can buy at most decent delis worth their salt. For example, Eataly, just blocks away.

The octopus dish, while good, is easily bested by dishes at Taralucci e Vino, L&W Oyster Co. and Manzanilla. All in the same hood. And none of which have a “star.”

And the duck. The almighty duck (pictured above). The signature dish that has more hype than a Wes Anderson movie… Was just eh. I’ve had many a better duck dish at a host of places that also get no love from Michelin.

So, by the time dessert came, I was reluctant to press on. Partly because of the slow service, but also because I hate eating wasted calories. Meaning highly caloric without being highly awesome. But since everyone else got dessert, I caved and got the doughnuts (because of their RAVE reviews). And while texturally they are wonderful. Their flavor was again, just eh. And yes, I am about to list a bunch of places that do it better, many of whom do not have Michelin stars… Craft, Manzo, Rosa Mexicana & The Doughnut Plant.

In the word’s of Arnold Schwatzenegger on Opposite Day, “I will NOT be back.”

2 teeth