This week has been most fun on the foodie scene, not least of which because it is Restaurant Week, that wonderful institution where you can dine or sup at some of the city’s best restaurants easting prix fixe for $27.07. (Read more about it here)

On Monday I got to enjoy a delightful meal at one of my favourite chef’s, Scott Conant’s, newest restaurant — Alto. It is tucked behind the Thomas Pink store off Madison Avenue in New York, set back and behind a public courtyard that comes complete with a soothing waterfall fronted by three panels from the Berlin Wall.

Inside Alto, all is calm, plush and modern, much like Conant’s first restaurant and my all-time Italian favourite in the city: L’Impero. And there was a surprising similarity in the menu. For example, I was astonished to see one of my L’Impero favourites — polenta with wild mushrooms — on the menu, along with a few other familiar offerings. It made me wonder how much a successful chef should repeat their signature dishes, and how much they should innovate and explore in each new venture.

But with excellent service and fabulous food, what can I say? Despite the repetition, I loved the meal and would happily return here (even outside of cut-rate restaurant week special.)

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