Lots of buzz all about Estela over the last year or so, from a big feature on chef Ignacio Mattos’ winter salads in Bon Appetit and a New York Times review to a little feature on wine director Thomas Carter’s favorite roses.
We were eager to try it!
We started with cocktails, of course.
Left, the Richard XII (Tennessee whiskey, arrack, yellow Chartreuse, peach); and right, the Governor’s Fizz (Reposado tequila, Aperol, Licor 43, lemon, egg white).
Kelli got the Rosemary Society (gin, pear brandy, lemon, grapefruit, rosemary), which we did not photograph but quite enjoyed. I think the Governor’s Fizz was the winner, though.
We also tried the pickled carrots:
And this Apricot and Nectarine Salad with kohlrabi and fromaggio de fossa, a hard sheep’s milk cheese.
One of our favorite dishes of the night. So summery, vegetables just perfect, cheese a lovely accent.
Scallops with peas, lardo, and greens:
Tender, soft, beautiful with the freshest of greens. Needed a little salt though.
Fried arroz negro with squid and romesco:
Crunchy, flavorful, a favorite of the night!
Ricotta dumplings with mushrooms and pecorino sardo:
Burrata with salsa verde and charred bread:
Creamy, milky cheese with a grassy, herby sauce. Bread wasn’t a crunchy as I’d hoped.
We really liked the food, and the drinks were good, too. But as more people came into the restaurant, the noise level kept growing and growing. By the time we left, the restaurant was just about the loudest place I’d ever eaten dinner. We were sitting right next to each other at the corner of the bar, and we could not hear each other without leaning in as close as possible and screaming. That made our experience unpleasant, in the end.
The food, however, was quite good. And so were the drinks. So a bit of a mixed experience, unfortunately.
The 411 on estela: 47 E. Houston St., Manhattan. 212-219-7693, estelanyc.com