A serving of delicious ramp pesto pasta could fit "into one cupped hand," but that's no reason to hate on Cafe Altro Paradiso, the new Hudson Square restaurant from the Estela team. Pete Wells suggests that diners just "play the kitchen’s game and schedule pasta as a midmeal diversion."
Overall, the Times critic is a big fan of the plates, both small and not-so-small, that are coming out of the kitchen, which is helmed by chef/partner Ignacio Mattos and chef de cuisine Aidan O'Neal. A few favorites:
Before pasta, there is grilled bread with cut-up anchovies, chile oil and parsley on a bed of butter; or pale fennel shavings with orange zest and soft curls of good provolone; or a pink and juicy Italian sausage with fruity mustard and chopped broccoli rabe; or the carpaccio. All of it sounds ordinary but is far from it.
After pasta, you might investigate that supper-club lamb chop, or the polenta and stewed onions under a lobe of calf’s liver, so creamy inside it’s like a pink organ-meat custard.
Wells likes that the chefs "push simplicity in directions that seem novel," even though occasionally they "don’t push quite hard enough." The critic especially digs the desserts. Le Deuce.