Hanna Raskin is the last of the Seattle criterrati to review Altura, and she is the least taken with it. Phew, we can exhale. Bethany J. Clement and Providence Cicero had taken us to such dizzying heights setting expectations for Altura that we were bound for a fall. Raskin's decidedly prosaic verdict on Altura is summed up here: "I had a pair of excellent dinners, but I'm not sure the gushing volume shouldn't be dialed down a notch or two, an ambivalence that surfaced every time I was confronted with imperfectly cooked pasta or struggled to recall the precise flavor of a sous-vide sturgeon hours after I'd left the restaurant." Like Clement before her, Raskin was impressed with the meat dishes. Unlike Clement, who claimed that Altura's tajarin rivals the best in town, Raskin found her tajarin "floppy." But for once, Raskin was made happier by the dessert--vinegared quinces.
Whereas Clement and Raskin were puzzled by the contrast between Momiji's fine dining promises and the laissez les bon temps rouler food, Cicero seems to roll with it. Globs of mayo and barbecue sauce on rolls do not trouble Cicero, as she found herself enjoying the "Three Amigos" and the "Lucky Leprechaun". On the fresh sheet, Cicero recommends the Mirugai Batayaki, geoduck sauteed with asparagus. Cicero samples from the a la carte(!) kaiseki menu and praises the Kurobuta pork shoulder. On the drinks side, Cicero found "The Getaway", a cocktail made up of Hendrick's gin, Pimm's, lychee and soda to be food friendly. But food may not be the best thing about Momiji: "Momiji can be an exhilarating dining experience, but the kitchen, under executive chef Chris Vilayphanh, is only part of the reason." Cicero primarily credits restauranteur Steven Han for spending so much on the design of the place--creating for her, "a magical Japanese nightscape." Awww.
· Altura Won't Change Your Life [Seattle Weekly]
· Momiji on Capitol Hill offers an exhilarating dining experience [Seattle Times]
· All Week in Reviews Coverage on Eater Seattle [-ESEA-]