Patrick Kriss could run a hot dog stand and it would make best restaurant lists. Tables at his Alo mother ship are only marginally harder to come by than at Aloette, his take on a diner (if a diner served sea urchin toast and beef carpaccio), and the announcement that he was opening a location in Yorkville was practically met with a tickertape parade.
Kriss’s approach—equal parts eggheaded and sensuous, modern and classically French—works as well, if not better, in these gilded environs. He crowns a foie gras parfait with sour cherry compote and toasted hazelnuts, shaves black truffle on tuna belly tartare and brushes lobster with a house-made XO sauce. Even a humble shrimp and grits (a throwback to his cooking days at the defunct Acadia) gets an upgrade with jumbo black tiger shrimp and Ottawa Valley cheddar.
Alobar ranks as the swishiest drinking hole around, with hand-chipped cubes and strictly premium liquors, plus one of the city’s most intelligent and unpredictable wine lists. By the time it opened in late August, the weather had already turned and the days shortened. I’m looking forward to the hot months ahead when its patio, in a secluded courtyard, will be one of the best spots for people-watching. I’ll be lucky to get a table.
Alobar, 57A-162 Cumberland St., 416-961-1222, alobaryorkville.com