In May 2009, Chef George Mendes opened Aldea in Manhattan’s Flatiron neighborhood. Named after the Spanish word for village, the restaurant’s menu is inspired by the Iberian Peninsula and Mendes’ heritage. The chef adds a modern, seasonal approach to create a menu perfectly balanced between rusticity and refinement.
His menu includes a variety of shellfish, various preparations of salt-cod, or bacalao, rice dishes and Iberian-cured hams. Aldea’s interior tells a story of the inherent beauty of the countryside of the Iberian Coast and places it within a modern elegant stage. Images of Water, Air, Wind, Clouds, Sky and Earth, Stone, Wood inspire the gestures of the journey through the sequence of unique spaces. The double height scale of the Gallery invites you into a grand hall with a freestanding bar framed in concrete with illuminated large wood panels and as its back drop. If the elements of the earth define one wall, a long azure wall with wisps of wind and water is your guide to the Dining Room with private niches and views to the exposition kitchen.
A floating chandelier of cascading light marks the chefs table and the wood bar with six coveted seats at the chef’s counter overlooking the activity of the kitchen. A veiled stairway leads up to the Mezzanine level. Here, the Salon perched above the Gallery overlooks the scene below, connected by a bridge referencing the chandelier, an intimate private dining rooms glows in the distance.
Chef/Owner: George Mendes | @geomendes