Shanea Savours: Alter Restaurant (take two)
I decided to give Alter another try this year as it has been going strong and it has been getting rave reviews. I once called Wynwood a seedy area, but I have seen huge changes this year. I actually love visiting Wynwood now. It is more of a cool hipster area with great restaurants, coffee houses, bars, art galleries and stores. Almost every square inch is covered with colourful street art. Wynwood is a destination in itself and worth a visit.
Alter is set in a former warehouse in Wynwood. Intimate, and very casual, it showcases locally sourced, seasonal ingredients in a creative way with globally influenced plates. Chef Brad Kilgore, formerly the chef at the St. Regis Miami is being hailed as a boy wonder in this new endeavour.
The menu at Alter reads like a gastronomic delight. Each dish has lots of components and are quite complex. I still say this is not a place for people who are strictly meat and potato eaters, it is not comfort food. It is more of a place for foodies. The food is beautiful and creative and quite artistic.
We opted for a chef’s tasting at $65 for five courses, two appetizers, two mains and a dessert, which is a relative bargain. It works out to $13 per course. Yes they are tiny portions but each dish is labour intensive and has good quality ingredients. I think for a first time here that is the way to go so you can sample some of Chefs Brad Kilgore’s cooking. But a la carte is also an option. The wine list was also quite reasonable. We enjoyed a bottle of Whispering Angel Rose that went well with our dinner. Please note the prices have not increased in the past year.
We started with a sea Bream appetizer followed by the chefs signature Soft Egg in a sea scallop infused cream, with truffle pearls and gruyere. We added the oscetra caviar for an additional $10, and were served a nice dollop of it. This dish is rich, silky and luscious. It is accompanied by a wonderful homemade bread of sumac and dill seed crust with umami butter that can be used for dipping in the velvety sauce. This is a great appetizer, but I wish it were served a little warmer.
For our main courses we had the Grouper Cheeks with shoyu hollandaise and sea lettuces on black rice. Although a lovely presentation I found the dish a little too salty and a little fishy. Next we had the glazed short rib in a red onion caramel sauce with garlic oil, and smoked peanuts on malted yogurt grits. This was a nice hearty main.
For dessert they offered a chocolate medley similar to El Cielo’s but it did not come close in taste or presentation, although our guests loved it.
The Miami Herald gave Alter 4 stars, bravo. For me it is not Miami’s “best“ restaurant. I give that honour this year to El Cielo. I find they are on another level then Alter. But this is still a great concept for Miami, and it is still a great bargain for the quality, service, innovation and effort.
Happy Dining, Shanea
I may not be a professional writer, but I consider myself a professional eater. I love to eat, read about food, travel, shop, take in the arts, and explore new places. Focusing mostly on Toronto, my home base, Miami, my second home and New York and Italy where I travel to the most, while also featuring other places I’m fortunate enough to visit, I’ll share with you my most savoury tidbits along the way. Happy Dining!