Row 1

47 E Houston St (at Mulberry St)
New York, NY 10012
(212) 219-7693
American, Wine Bar, Spanish
$ $ $ $
Mon–Thu: 5:30 PM–Midnight Fri: 5:30 PM–1:00 AM Sat: 11:30 AM–3:00 PM Sun: 11:30 AM–3:00 PM

What do you get when former Blue Hill at Stone Barns (No. 12) beverage director Thomas Carter pairs with a Uruguay-born chef who has worked with Argentinian grill-master Francis Mallmann and slow food icon Alice Waters, and at Isa and Il Buco? One of New York City’s hottest restaurants. This NoLita gem on East Houston features a relatively compact menu of shareable plates with a largely Mediterranean focus. Chef Ignacio Mattos’ food has been described as simple in appearance while simultaneously strange but right. So perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise that the advice he gave last year during an interview sounds like that of a culinary pioneer: do your own thing, undersell and overdeliver, stop overthinking everything, and drop acid. Okay, so he meant citrus and vinegar, but some of his philosophy does run counter to many current trends: ignore the seasons, cook the familiar, lose the tweezers, and win with bread. The execution at Estela won’t disappoint. Some of the chef’s most heralded dishes are his beef tartare with sunchoke and his mussels escabeche. For something heartier, try the pork with charred leeks and wheatberries or steak with creamed spinach. And you probably won’t want to miss the burrata with salsa verde and charred bread and the endive with walnuts, anchovy, and Ubriaco Rosso, which is what President Obama and his wife ordered on their visit in late 2014. Just don’t forget your credit card like he did. The wines can be pricey and the First Lady might not be there to bail you out.

— Arthur Bovino, 101 Best Restaurants, April 1, 2015

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Foursquare Tips

  • If you want your date night to match President Obama and the first lady's (who were here on Sept 24, 2014), you should order burrata with salsa verde, endive salad, cherry tomatoes, and croquettes.
  • Innovative small plates. Must-orders: Burrata served on charred bread, Steak tartare w/ sunchoke, Ricotta dumplings, and the perfectly cooked steak. Pay with Cover and skip waiting for the check.
  • Obama ate here on sept 24, 2014
  • Ricotta dumplings, mussel toast, the squid rice, scallops, and steak tartare were all amazing. Order dishes to share, and then order a 2nd round of favs. Was too busy eating to document
  • Burrata x Beef Tartare = so tasty !!!
  • This spot is slowly becoming one of our favorite small plates destinations. While the menu isn't huge, there's a great variety of flavorful dishes. Get the beef tartare, burrata, & ricotta dumplings.
  • Egg with butter beans, cured tuna, and harissa. Pay with Cover.
  • Share everything. Must get the mussels on toast, raw scallops, charred calamari, burrata. Panna cotta dessert = out of this world!
  • Excellent cocktails and small plates in inventive forms, as much a bumping bar as a restaurant.
  • This is probably the best restaurant I have been to in the last 6 months
  • Ignacio Mattos serves rustic, market-driven dishes that don't easily fit into any one classification. Standouts include mussels escabeche, ricotta dumplings, and excellent beef tartare with sunchokes.
  • Must order: spiced almonds, burrata, endive salad, fried arroz negro w/squid and romesco, ricotta dumplings and panna cotta for dessert!!
  • Ask to sit at the tables in the back where Obama dined -- it's quieter and great for people watching. Fried arroz negro, burrata with salsa verde, the beef tartare, and the celery negroni.
  • Leave room for the chocolate cake!!!!
  • I dream about the ricotta dumplings and they keep me coming back. Tables are super close so your experience varies based on the crowd. Drinks are a bit pricey with small pours.
  • 2015 James Beard finalist for Best Chef - Ignacio Mattos
  • trendy with a sommelier, but the food was not as impressive. there are plenty of cozy west village spots with better plates
  • Start your day at Estela, where Ignacio Mattos stuffs an egg, some avocado, and pancetta inside a Danish pastry.
  • Grab a walk-in bar seat and order up the mushroom ricotta dumplings, the burrata toast w/salsa verde, and flavorful beef tartare. (Will be back for the croquettes and lamb ribs!)
  • Yes yes yes it's worth all the hype! Must tries: lamb ribs, burrata, scallops, beef tartare, panna cotta...basically everything. Start off with a Rosemary Society. Get yourself there!