Tonight, Prospect Heights gains another fancy-ish Mexican spot with the opening of Alta Calidad, Chef Akhtar Nawab's cheery new Vanderbilt Avenue restaurant. The 39-seat eatery is decked out in black, white and blue motifs, with a black-and-white mural by Marysia Schultz.
Those expecting tacos will be well-served, with fillings including charred steak ($12), braised pork cheeks ($18) and fried shrimp ($12). Fried tortillas and fried plantains service guacamole and two types of queso fundido, respectively, including one molten cheese dish topped with artichokes, chorizo and poblano peppers ("complicado," $12).
Smaller botanas look like good pairings for when the restaurant eventually gets its liquor license (mocktails only for now). The tamale ($9) apparently shares DNA with both Mexican tamales and pommes alligot—the decadent cheesy potato dish from France—and is served open-faced with broccoli and bacon.
552 Vanderbilt Avenue, 718-622-1111; altacalidadbk.com