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Former PDX Chef Matt Lightner Gets Double Dose of Good News

Eater food critic Ryan Sutton awards the Atera NYC chef 4 out of 4 stars; Michelin Guides announce he retains his two stars.

Today Eater NY, food critic Ryan Sutton reviews Atera, the high-end Manhattan restaurant helmed by former Castagna chef Matthew Lightner. His verdict? Four out of four stars. This is coming on the same day the Michelin Guides announced he will retain the coveted two stars he earned last year.

That's high praise to be sure, but what's more interesting (to Portlanders, at least) is how Sutton charts Lightner's evolution as a chef, and offers a glimpse into a restaurant that, for all intents and purposes, has roots in the Rose City. After all, it was here where Castagna owner Monique Siu handed Lightner the keys to the kitchen, and the freedom to explore his art. Portland's food scene has never been the same.

"But rest assured that Atera, despite its tectonic shifts, has grown into one of New York's most rewarding bastions of fine dining," writes Sutton. "The old style of 'trompe bouche,' where food looked like one thing but tasted like another, has given way to a compelling, ultra-refined naturalism."

Read the full review here.

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