We went to the original Alma in Downtown a few years ago and was seated at the chef counter watching all the action. It was fun to watch chef Ari Taymor runinng the show. Alma was recently closed down and when I heard they will have a pop up for two months at the Standard hotel, I was intrigued to give Alma a second try.
Once again I requested to be seated in front of the kitchen and was looking at the tiny window trying to spot the chef. Well, a few minutes later he came outside and was practically standing in front of us for the most part of our dinner. Did he say hi or converse with us? No, he didn’t. He seemed either too shy or did not want to bother to interact with diners. He was mostly checking his phone and at times interacted with the staff. Once I caught him looking at us and as soon as I made an eye contact, he looked away. Very odd, maybe he was not having a good day. I was planning to ask him about his plans after this pop up, but that was not in the cards. We did not want to order the stuff we had last time, so that kind of limited us when it came to ordering.
Little Gem Salad with Pear, Tarragon, Hazelnut
I love little gem and I order it every time I see it on the menu. This version was almost perfect except it was salted a bit much. We loved the tarragon dressing and hazelnuts provided a nice crunch.
Cabbage & Crushed Avocado Salad, Smoked Almond & Citrus
I was surprised how basic this salad was. Just pieces of cabbage with grapefruit and avocado. The smoked almonds were pretty good and toasted sesame made this salad more interesting.
Smoked Trout & Beets with Shallots, Roe & Everything Crumble
This was a lovely dish but on the small side.
Grilled Octopus with New Potato & Black Garlic
We were surprised at the ample portion but unfortunately it was a tad overcooked. I was going to mention it right away to someone, but my husband said his portion was fine. Later on he agreed with me. He is just shy to ever complain in restaurants. We loved the black garlic sauce and the potatoes were nice also. When our server asked how we liked the dish, we told him about the problem and he said sorry.
Parsley Root, fernet & Ginger Sundae
We finished up with this sundae. It was more whip cream than anything else but once you got to the bottom it was tasty.
Let just say we were let down by the experience.