31 West 17 Street

Don't get the idea that simply because Chef/Proprietar George Mendes—who has worked for some of the best restaurateurs in the business, like David Bouley and Alain Ducasse—has opened a new restaurant designed by the same person that created Corton's ... more

Don't get the idea that simply because Chef/Proprietar George Mendes—who has worked for some of the best restaurateurs in the business, like David Bouley and Alain Ducasse—has opened a new restaurant designed by the same person that created Corton's aesthetic that there's nothing original going on. In fact, this scrappy Portuguese eatery is shockingly new, a visceral culinary travelogue through Mendes' own gastronomical heritage. Named after the Spanish word for village, the restaurant’s menu is inspired by the Iberian Peninsula and Mendes’ heritage. Chef Mendes adds a modern, seasonal approach to create a menu balanced between rusticity and refinement. The menu includes a variety of shellfish, various preparations of salt-cod, or bacalao, rice dishes and Iberian-cured hams. Aldea’s interior tells a story of the inherent beauty of the countryside of the Iberian Coast and places it within a modern elegant stage. Images of Water, Air, Wind, Clouds, Sky and Earth, Stone, Wood inspire the gestures of the journey through the sequence of unique spaces. The double height scale of the Gallery invites you into a grand hall with a freestanding bar framed in concrete with illuminated large... more

Don't get the idea that simply because Chef/Proprietar George Mendes—who has worked for some of the best restaurateurs in the business, like David Bouley and Alain Ducasse—has opened a new restaurant designed by the same person that created Corton's aesthetic that there's nothing original going on. In fact, this scrappy Portuguese eatery is shockingly new, a visceral culinary travelogue through Mendes' own gastronomical heritage.

Named after the Spanish word for village, the restaurant’s menu is inspired by the Iberian Peninsula and Mendes’ heritage. Chef Mendes adds a modern, seasonal approach to create a menu balanced between rusticity and refinement. The menu includes a variety of shellfish, various preparations of salt-cod, or bacalao, rice dishes and Iberian-cured hams. Aldea’s interior tells a story of the inherent beauty of the countryside of the Iberian Coast and places it within a modern elegant stage. Images of Water, Air, Wind, Clouds, Sky and Earth, Stone, Wood inspire the gestures of the journey through the sequence of unique spaces. The double height scale of the Gallery invites you into a grand hall with a freestanding bar framed in concrete with illuminated large wood panels and as its back drop. If the elements of the earth define one wall, a long azure wall with wisps of wind and water is your guide to the Dining Room with private niches and views to the exposition kitchen.

A floating chandelier of cascading light marks the chefs table and the wood bar with six coveted seats at the chef’s counter overlooking the activity of the kitchen. A veiled stairway leads up to the Mezzanine level. Here, the Salon perched above the Gallery overlooks the scene below, connected by a bridge referencing the chandelier, an intimate private dining rooms glows in the distance.


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Chelsea Description

Aldea is located in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. Once a mixed, low-income neighborhood on the West Side, Chelsea has become a focal point for artists and galleries. It has a wide reputation as Manhattan's gay mecca, and while that has historically been true, rising acceptance of the gay lifestyle—and soaring rents—has led to a dissipation of the community in the neighborhood. These days, Chelsea is, very simply, a bastion of affluence more than any other social status, with the conversion of many apartment buildings to condos and co-ops and the on-rush of multimillion-dollar brownstones and lofts. In the ever-northward shift of Manhattan's masses, the high prices of Greenwich Village and Christopher Street area (which has boasted a large LGBT community since the 1960s) led many to head north to Chelsea in the late 1980s. In that migration, many have already moved on from Chelsea to the northern climes of Hell's Kitchen and Washington Heights, or east to Brooklyn. While Eighth Avenue between 14th and 23rd Streets formerly had one of New York’s highest concentrations of gay-operated restaurants, stores, cafes, the population transfer changed the demographics once again—you'll find much higher concentrations in Hell's Kitchen nowadays.

The Chelsea art scene blossomed thanks to the conversion of garages and warehouses between Tenth and Twelfth Avenues, and likely will become a victim of its own success. What SoHo and the 57th Street area lost in stature has been Chelsea’s gain, and almost all the well-established flagship galleries make Chelsea their base. How did it all begin? In 1987, the Dia Center for the Arts—later known as Dia: Chelsea—became one of the pioneers in the area, establishing its main exhibition facility on West 22nd Street. Ironically, after opening its flagship museum Dia: Beacon upstate, it was left without a Manhattan presence. Plans to move down to Greenwich Village and abut the new High Line elevated park were scuttled, and the Whitney instead grabbed the valuable tract that once appealed to Dia. Of course, the High Line further increased property values, thus begetting additional high-rises between Tenth Avenue and West Street, which in turn brought in starchitects like Frank Gehry and Jean Nouvel, whose creations can be seen soaring from the earth along West Street. You can learn more about these in our new architecture of Manhattan walking tour.

While the ethnic diversity of Chelsea was once truly enviable, the neighborhood still remains one of only a few places where housing ranges from high-rise public housing projects to single-family brownstones to new glass condominiums—even on the same block! Some of Manhattan’s most affordable rent-stabilized apartments can be found between Seventh and Ninth Avenues. The historic district has some fine examples of nineteenth-century city dwellings, and small gardens and flowering trees abound. If you think the grounds of General Theological Seminary (440 West 21st Street) look familiar, that's because it is frequently functions as a set for the TV show Law & Order! Even seminaries have to make money, and thus G.T.S. (as it's known) demolished its former entrance on Ninth Avenue to make way for (what else?) luxury condominiums. At its Tenth Avenue entrance, G.T.S. created one of Manhattan's most charming niche hotels, the Desmond Tutu Center, named after the great South African archbishop.

Speaking of hotels, Chelsea has no shortage of great places to stay and to eat. On Tenth Avenue you'll find the renowned tapas of Tia Pol and its offshoot El Quinto Pino just two blocks away. There's the upscale Cookshop nearby, and further south on Tenth Avenue you'll find the Iron Chef's Morimoto at the great Chelsea Market, also home to Buddakan on the Ninth Avenue side.

Info

31 West 17 Street
New York, NY 10011
(212) 675-7223
Website

Editorial Rating

Category

Spanish

Price

$$$$$

Ambience

Business Casual
Casual

Payment

All Major

This Week's Hours

Mon-Thu: 5:30pm-11:00pm
Fri-Sat: 5:30pm-12:00am
Sunday: 5:00pm-9:00pm

@geomendes

So awesome !
https://t.co/5HVlwdeqQZ March 08

Hey @adidas , sent new sneakers in for a return in Sept of 2018 and STILL have not received a gift card / refund.…
https://t.co/0fp9Z2vCrb February 07

@ruhlman Michael! Lisbon - go eat at Cervejaria Ramiro , Taberna Da Ruas Das Flores , Solar dos Presuntos ( Classi…
https://t.co/N4zlargtOC February 01

Hey @adidas really disappointed in your customer service. Waiting since Sept 10 for a gift card / refund for a ret…
https://t.co/DT1S8dRnAm October 24, 2018

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