Chef Matt Lightner of Atera - New York, NY

77 Worth Street
New York, NY 10013
(212) 226-1444
Hours: Tue-Sat 6:30pm-9:30pm

Chef Matt Lightner learned the secrets of molecular gastronomy in Spain and how to worship nature in Portland, Oregon, and when he moved to New York in 2012, he introduced the city to the best possible marriage of both worlds. For the privileged few that get to dine in the warm but spare setting, a meal at Atera begins with a flurry of “snacks”—one bite wonders that introduce you to Lightner’s style and leave you hankering for another bite. Next up are more composed plates, where what you see isn’t always what you get. Quail eggs resting in a nest of hay turn out to be delicately molded layers of aïoli frozen with liquid nitrogen. Chocolate wafers are really blood sausage wafers sandwiching chicken liver pâté. But the tromp l’oeil effects are less trickery than exploratory delight. His dishes are whimsical, natural, and technical. They speak their own culinary language, and parsing it is an adventure into the unexpected world of one of America’s most exciting young chefs.

Recommended Dishes:
  • Sake-cured Diver Scallops, Sauerkraut, and Cabbage Ice
  • Pickled Quail, with Pig’s Blood Wafer, Chicken Liver Pâté, and Huckleberry

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