Alter, the tasting menu restaurant in Wynwood, has the kind of food that could be narrated in a British accent over classical music while the plate spins in slow motion. When the server begins to describe what you’re about to eat - using words like “sea scallop espuma” and “chorizo-coconut emulsion” - you may feel a small urge to roll your eyes.
Skepticism about food that looks like an artistic science experiment is normal, but Alter isn’t the kind of place that adds foam just for the sake of foam. Beneath the flair and clear use of tweezers are dishes that will surprise you in a good way, like realizing you have Memorial Day off on the Sunday before Memorial Day.
You have three options at Alter: a five-course tasting menu ($79), seven-course tasting menu ($99), or the nine-course “Chef’s Experience” ($165) - which is very similar to the seven-course, but with a few extra supplements thrown in. The menus change seasonally, but every dish feels like that moment on a roller coaster when you’re about to drop: the plates hit the table and you have no idea what’s going to happen, but you know it’s going to be fun.
The white asparagus chowder looks like a marshmallow but tastes like a cheesy asparagus pudding that will make you seriously consider licking the plate. Alter’s signature dish, the soft egg, is the consistency of a cloud made out of yolk and it’s so damn luxurious you’ll think these eggs were sourced exclusively from Scrooge McDuck’s private stash. Get it with the bread and beurre for dipping and wiping the bowl clean.
If Alter only served these two dishes, we’d still recommend you wait an hour for a table here. The food is just that special and good - regardless if David Attenborough is in the room describing the ingredients to you underneath dramatic lighting.
This looks like a marshmallow but tastes like a cheesy asparagus pudding - which is apparently a very good thing to taste like. The Floridian clam chowder that pools at the bottom of the plate is incredible and if we have one issue with this dish it’s that the fancy plate makes it hard to scoop it all up.
The little slices of scallops are incredibly tender and flavorful - you don’t even have to chew anything here. Just sit one on your tongue and it dissolves.
This is probably the one dish not worth finishing. The fish is very tender and wonderfully cooked, but it comes with a strange blanket of something called a carrot veil draped on top. It looks like a Kraft single and doesn’t add much to the dish. Don’t wear a carrot veil to your wedding.
If we were to imagine a super-secret restaurant that only allows international billionaires inside, this is the kind of food they’d serve. It’s the sort otherworldly indulgence we thought was exclusively reserved for Bond villains. The menu changes seasonally, but the soft egg has been on it since day one. It’s best eaten alongside the “bread and beurre,” which you’ll have to get separately unless you opt for the “chef’s experience” menu.
The duck is tender and the sweet berry reduction on the side is a very interesting thing to eat duck with. The good news is that if you don’t love the sweet/savory combination, it’s easy enough to just eat the duck on its own.
Remember those dessert dirt cups you loved as a kid? This almost tastes like a very high-concept version of that. It’s not dessert, technically, but the chicken liver and foie parfait reminds us more of a chocolate mousse than meat. It’s rich, flaky, and you’ll finish the whole thing and wish you had more.
It’s “camouflage” because the pasta has an army fatigue design, and also maybe because you can’t really see the super flavorful lamb ragout that’s actually the star of the dish when it first comes out. There’s a lot of subtext at work here.
This is the last course of the Chef’s Experience. It’s kind of cruel because the meat is so damn good that you want to eat the whole thing - but you’re also so full that even lifting your fork is requiring great effort at this point.