I really looked forward to dining at Alter more than any other this trip down to Miami. The Miami Herald gave it rave review and 4 stars. It has only been opened for 4 months on a seedy area in the Wynwood district. I would call the space very casual, almost a grungy industrial design. The crowd is quite young there. The menu reads like a gastronomic meal. Each dish has lots of components and are quite complex. If you are a simple meat and potato eater I wouldn’t suggest eating here.
Call me jaded, but I didn’t love my meal. It was okay, but it didn’t wow me. The presentations are lovely, but on the small side. The food was also served luke warm. (Note: I decided to give Alter another try, read that raving review here.)
The chef Brad Kilgore was formerly the head chef of the J&G Grill and the manager was at Juvia previously. The menu is pretty reasonable considering the amount of work that goes into each dish. The main courses are no more than $25, and the appetizers were no more than $15.
We started with the Soft Egg, in a sea scallop infused cream, with truffle pearls and Gruyere. It would have tasted so much better if it was served hot. We ordered the homemade dull seed crust bread with Unami butter, to dip in the egg dish and it was excellent.
The Summer Squash salad with citron vinaigrette, soft feta and puffed wild rice was good. The Blue Crab with Peruvian chili, cilantro and lemon grass had a lovely presentation, but to me tasted like a mediocre crab cake in a salty sauce.
Our main courses were the Prawn and Squid dish with purple potatoes and hearts of palm. The dish was salty and not warm enough and it was too small!! The Grouper Cheeks with black rice in a shot of hollandaise sauce was good but not warm enough and also too small of a portion.
Desserts were better. We had the custard with honey cake and passion fruit sorbet and the Cacao Mousse with black mint ice cream, hibiscus and chartreuse, which was delish.
They also offered a $65, 5-course tasting menu.
This restaurant has potential to be a fabulous farm to table, New American experience, but I don’t think I would rush back so soon. It didn’t live up to my expectations.