photo credit: Emily Schindler

Al Coro review image

Al Coro


85 10th Ave, New York
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Credit to the design team at Al Coro, a fine-dining spot in the old Del Posto space in Chelsea, for not going the expected route of using white tablecloths. However, we can’t say we’re in love with the mostly brown decor, which will remind you of a furniture store on Madison Avenue in 1975 if a vat of chocolate exploded inside of it.

Although we joke about the setting (which includes a live band playing from a balcony every night), we can’t make fun of the food. Melissa Rodriguez, who was Del Posto’s last executive chef, has created a tasting menu that feels unique in the context of Italian restaurants. It isn't quite as inventive as we'd like, but the decadent food will still trigger the release of all the right endorphins in your brain.

Only two options are available: $195 for five courses, or $245 for seven. A server will explain what’s to come (there’s no printed menu), which you’ll mostly forget unless you have a freakishly good memory. We suggest you just give a cursory listen so that each course remains a bit of a surprise.

Al Coro review image

photo credit: Emily Schindler

Rather than offering ubiquitous Italian items like cacio e pepe and branzino, the kitchen uses a wide range of seasonal ingredients commonly found on New American menus. The meal begins with seven small plates, and standouts include the butter-dipped radishes stuffed with anchovy purée and beets with mascarpone wrapped in bresaola like little tacos. The poached asparagus with rye crumbles is stellar, and if you have only one choice of pastas, get the culurgiones—large razor clam-topped Sardinian dumplings that ooze fontina.

Even though you’ll miss out on some dishes we enjoy—like uncommonly juicy chicken breast served with crispy pancakes (a play on Peking duck)—we strongly recommend going for five courses, rather than seven. Unless you model your life after Joey Chestnut, you’ll likely be forcing bites down your throat by the end of the seven-course option because there’s so much food. We appreciate the generous portions, but you never want tasting menus to feel like a chore.

We actually admire the decision to not make Al Coro look like every other fine dining restaurant. And you will like the well-executed dishes, even if they remind you of things you’ve had at upscale New American spots. We wish the kitchen would push the envelope a little more, but it's hard to complain about caviar, white asparagus, and brown butter. So should you book a table here? If you’re okay with the price tag, we say go for it—especially if your favorite color is brown.

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Food Rundown

Note: The menu will change about every six weeks, and you can request a video with details about your meal to be emailed the next day.

Al Coro review image

photo credit: Emily Schindler


For the apertivo course, you get an assortment of seven delightful small dishes, and it’s an overwhelming, but fun, way to start the meal. We received giardiniera with a thin provolone crisp and a carrot sformato with smoked ricotta as well as a panelle topped with a big quenelle of Osetra caviar.


The white and green poached asparagus with pickled shallots and rye crumbles is light, simple, and cooked correctly. It comes with a braided filone made with ramp butter that you will absolutely finish even though you know you should save room for everything else.

Al Coro review image

photo credit: Emily Schindler


These two large firm dumplings are filled with mascarpone and fontina, and they come with a big scoop of caviar. Does all the caviar jack up the price of your meal? Probably. But we’re not going to sit here and tell you that it doesn’t make this dish taste great.

Al Coro review image

photo credit: Emily Schindler


Anelletti is a ring-shaped pasta, and here it comes with pork cheek ragu, pecorino, and escarole. This homey dish is served family-style in a piping hot black pot, and it’s the most red sauce joint-like item on the menu. The subtle richness from the pork fat is nice.

Al Coro review image

photo credit: Emily Schindler

Sea Bass

The sea bass is a welcome reprieve from the heavy pasta, but we wouldn’t call this course “light.” A fatty piece of fish stuffed with duxelles is plated on top of swiss chard. The bass is cooked well, and the creamy marsala sauce that’s poured on top brings the whole dish together.

Al Coro review image

photo credit: Emily Schindler

Sicilian Chicken

If you opt for the seven courses, you’ll probably already want to roll yourself outside by this point. But you’ll want to try this chicken, which may be the most succulent chicken we’ve ever had. It comes with caponata, a cherry mostarda, and some chili crisp, which you’re supposed to use to make wraps with farinata.

Al Coro review image

photo credit: Emily Schindler


Like the first course, you’ll get a variety of different desserts to end your meal. Our selection of four included a lemon granita that was a little creamy and savory and a strawberry tartufo filled with liquid caramel. Both were good, but our favorite was the Sicilian brioche with candied pistachios and gelato made with fennel.

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