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No Matter the Time of Day, Pete Wells Digs Atla

The Times critic finds the restaurant very appealing

A black and white photo of Atla’s dining room, where a woman sits at a bar on her laptop Photo: Nick Solares

At Atla, it’s not a question of if, but when to go — at least according to Pete Wells. In his latest two star write-up, the NY Times critic argues that the all-day NoHo restaurant presents a lot of options for diners, from a quiet breakfast and lunch, to a lively boîte in the evening.

But no matter the time, Wells seems to think Atla has unifying powers: “It’s as if people, worn out by the sheer effort of being scandalized by the news, had decided that 2017 would be more bearable if we could all just find one thing to agree about.” He adds: “Atla is that thing.”

But that’s not to say Wells doesn’t have his qualms about the restaurant. He notes that Atla’s healthy-leaning menu can often leave guests hungry, an argument Ryan Sutton shared in his recent two star review of the restaurant. “Depending on your metabolism, all this will leave you feeling either refreshed and ready to meet the day or slightly hungry,” he writes.

Ultimately, here is Wells’ takeaway from Atla:

The very qualities that make Atla ideal for a relaxed breakfast or lunch, in other words, make it a dinner destination that is best approached with a moderate appetite, a resilient lower back and a suspicion that whatever your friends are saying probably isn’t important anyway. Better still, treat it as a drinking spot where food is an added attraction.

He promises to return for more chia bowls, dessert, chilaquiles, and ceviche. Two stars.


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