Estela's Sophomore Project Cafe Altro Paradiso Will Soft Open Soo

The Estela to soft open their Italian spot Cafe Altro Paradiso soon

Update: Wednesday's dinner at the restuarnat was for friends and family. The restaurant isn't soft-open quite yet, but stay tuned.

There's been a bit of malaise among avid diners in New York City lately. A feeling that the city's food isn't as exciting as it once was. The Washington Post's ranking of the best American food cities puts NYC at a paltry eighth. There seems to be an endless string of great kitchen talent fleeing the city, and many of those who stay are going the fast-casual route. Essentially, it's easy to be cynical about the city's dining scene these days.

Many of those cynics (us included) have been passing their time at Soho's Estela, a critically acclaimed bright spot. Estela defies category other than to say chef and co-owner Ignacio Mattos packs more umami into each plate he turns out—like his steak tartare and endive, taleggio and walnuts salad—than many chefs can pack into an entire menu.

Wednesday evening, Mattos and partner Thomas Carter hosted friends and family (the step that comes just before opening) at their second restaurant, Cafe Altro Paradiso, Eater NY reports. The team has kept details fairly under wraps, but Mattos told The New York Times last October that he plans to serve his take on Italian fare with dishes like ziti and broccoli and anchovies; bollito misto; and lasagnette with lardo, peas and mint. (Though those exact dishes may not appear on the final menu.)

One thing is for certain. There will be fresh pasta and likely a good amount of it. Mattos and the restaurant Instagrammed this photo earlier today:

Mattos and Carter went to Italy to eat their way through the countryside and gather inspiration, including a stop for this hand-cut pasta:

We've reached out to the Café Altro Paradiso team, so stay tuned for updates. And if you have any news, let me know.