The Order: Estela


14629Ricotta dumplings with mushrooms and pecorino sardo Credit Tuukka Koski

Ricotta dumplings with mushrooms and pecorino sardo courtesy Tuukka Koski.

Chef Ignacio Mattos and co-owner Thomas Carter have the buzz level up at eleven at their new joint, Cafe Altro Paradiso. But, have you looked in on Estela, the very thoughtful Houston Street Mediterranean restaurant that put these guys on the map? It is “widely regarded as one of those restaurants that embody what it means to eat out in New York City at the moment,” said the New York Times when it awarded them two stars. But rest on their laurels they have not. Here’s what to order, including some new and notable menu adds:

Start With

Cured Fluke with Sea Urchin: Otherwise known as Uni. This briny, slightly sweet, creamy sea creature is hidden under a bed of cured fluke with yuzu kosho and oro blanco grapefruit. The way Mattos structures the dish makes every forkful include fluke and uni, the ultimate flavor duo. Before you know it, your plate will be clean. And you’re just warming up.

Celery Salad: Yes, celery. Served with raisins, pistachios, and Bayley Hazen Blue cheese. The cheese, from the cellars at Jasper Hill Farm in Vermont, adds a bacon essence and creamy element to the dish. Celery never looked so good.

Then Get

Ricotta Dumplings: A classic for sure. Light and fluffy pillows nestled under a bed of thinly sliced mushrooms and pecorino sardo. The play is a combo of salty, savory, umami and you’re going to want more.

Halibut: This fish is so fresh and so clean that it requires very little seasoning in the first place. But, then, add chef’s crab butter. It’s light, it’s buttery, it’s a yes.

And, FTW

Fried Arroz Negro: If you come to Estela and don’t order this dish, you didn’t do it right.

Lamb Ribs: The secret’s in the prep. Three days of tender love & care make these ribs fall-off-the-bone good. Wet wipe not necessary.

For Dessert

Goat Milk Ice Cream with Caramel and Mint: Tart ice cream and a rich caramel sauce. Balance is the name of the game. One spoon please.

And what you’re drinking:

Vollenweider ‘Felsenfest’: This crisp, dry riesling (offered by the glass, too) gels nicely with almost the entire menu but it’s a knockout with the cured fluke and celery salad.

Fino Sherry by Equipo Navazos: Because to savor every bite of the fried arroz negro, order a glass of fino sherry.

Olivier Cousin’s ‘Yamag’ Gamay: If you’re looking for a bottle to take you through the meal, try this natural red wine from the Loire valley that’s both bright and complex. It has the mineral notes and acidity for easy drinking.

64539Exterior of Estela Credit Tuukka Koski

Estela courtesy of Tuukka Koski.

So there you have it, your pro order is up. Book your Resy today.