Alto [Closed]

11 East 53rd Street,

New York, NY

Tel: 212.308.1099

February 2008

I have enjoyed a number of delicious meals at Alto recently. The cuisine seems to have reached a more inspired level since Executive Chef Michael White arrived a few months back. The extensive wine list is overseen by Wine Director Eric Zillier and offers a broad array of choices.

We started with the yellow fin tuna carpaccio, a dish that seemed to pay homage to the traditional Piedmontese vitello tonnato. The Agnolotti del Plin in a Barbera sauce was a rich, hearty dish perfect for a cold winter night. My veal chop was cooked and seasoned to perfection, not to mention that it paired beautifully with a number of the wines on the table.

Serafin is not a producer whose wines I am intimately familiar with, so this bottle of the 1996 Charmes-Chambertin was a revelation. Still incredibly deeply-colored, it revealed plenty of vibrant, primary fruit supported by firm, yet elegant, tannins. The wine showed relatively high acidity, which no doubt explains the wine’s freshness and potential for future development over the following decades. It was a terrific wine in every way. By contrast Giacomo Conterno’s 1971 Barolo came across as somewhat rustic, yet it revealed considerable depth in a muscular style. It also continued to open in the glass, showing remarkable nuance and detail in its sweet, ethereal fruit. Leroy’s 1991 Vosne-Romanée Les Beaux Monts was a wine of contrasts. I was utterly seduced by the sheer depth, concentration and expansiveness of the wine’s sweet dark fruit and exotic spices, yet some sauvage elements that often show up in this wine were present as well. Still, I loved it. Tenuta dell’Ornellaia’s 1999 Masseto was so primary and packed with fruit it was hard to fully appreciate in the context of these more subtle wines. With some time in the glass it showed hints of its potential but this is a wine that still needs cellaring.


Yellow fin tuna carpaccio, tonnata crema, Sicilian capers and Ligurian olives

Agnolotti del Plin alla Barbera

Roasted Amish veal chop, veal deckel, radicchio, cippolini, pancetta cream

Artisan cheeses



Domaine Christian Serafin Charmes Chambertin



Giacomo Conterno Barolo



Domaine Leroy Vosne-Romanée Les Beaux Monts



Tenuta dell’Ornellaia Masseto


--Antonio Galloni