Alder: Innovative pub food in NYC

Alder is Chef Wylie Dufresne’s latest restaurant in NYC (in the East Village), although it’s almost a year old now.  Many bloggers and critics seem to love the casual, innovative and modern take on public house food (pub food) created by Chef Wylie Dufresne and Executive Chef Jon Bignelli.   Alder certainly has a casual feel to it, with its exposed brick walls and the high noise level (yes, the exposed bricks do nothing to absorb the sound generated by guests).  Alder serves innovative dishes all of which are plated very well.  Service was courteous, friendly and mostly attentive.  The food at Alder, however, fell below expectation – flavors and textures in dishes were not well-balanced.  The dishes at Alder are not particularly vegetarian or vegan friendly, but the restaurant indicates that it will do its best to accommodate dietary restrictions.

Inside Alder NYC

Inside Alder NYC

 

The one cocktail we ordered was excellent !!  The Pinchelada was a spicy cocktail of chilies, pineapple, Mexicali beer and sansyo (Japanese Pepper powder).  See this post on Tequileria Maya for an excellent spicy tequila cocktail. 

Pinchelada - Pineapple, Mexicali beer, chilies, and sansyo at Alder NYC

Pinchelada – Pineapple, Mexicali beer, chilies, and sansyo at Alder NYC

The one dish that we enjoyed was the day boat scallops served with hush puppies, swiss chard and kimchi, but the portion was too small, way too small!!  The scallops and hush puppies were bite sized and were gone before one could blink!!   The dish is supposed to include Swiss chard, but the leaves look like parsley to me (or are they really swiss chard?).

Day Boat scallops with hush puppies, swiss chard and kimchi at Alder NYC

Day Boat scallops with hush puppies, swiss chard and kimchi at Alder NYC

All other dishes we had were off the mark:

  • Pickled vegetables were too acidic and crunchy to be served by themselves
  • Pub Cheese is served with a pistachio white fig brittle and some excellent crisps.  While the pub cheese was rich and tasty (almost foie gras like), the brittle was too salty and the pistachio too rancid that it left a bad taste.   Oh, and the white fig was almost non-existent in flavor or texture.
  • The grilled eggplant with smoked brook trout, scrambled eggs and brown better sounds a lot better than it tasted.  Nothing was wrong with it, just that it did not make an impression.
  • Curried goat was intensely spicy and extremely chewy.  The bread accompanying the goat was too sweet (intended to balance the spices perhaps), the acorn squash did not blend with either the goat or the bread, and the turmeric very raw and intense.

Pickled vegetables at Alder NYC

Pickled vegetables at Alder NYC

Pub cheese with pistachio and white fog and crisps at Alder NYC

Pub cheese with pistachio and white fog and crisps at Alder NYC

Grilled eggplant with scrambled eggs, smoked brook trout, and brown butter at Alder NYC

Grilled eggplant with scrambled eggs, smoked brook trout, and brown butter at Alder NYC

Curried Goat with acorn squash, coco bread, and pickled turmeric at Alder NYC

Curried Goat with acorn squash, coco bread, and pickled turmeric at Alder NYC

 

Overall, I am not inclined to go back to Alder…. 

Related posts on Not Just Vegetarian:

Other posts on Alder:

Note:  The post titled “Alder: Innovative pub food in NYC” appeared first on Not Just Vegetarian

 

Alder on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Information


* Restaurant Name
Alder
* Overall
★★★☆☆
* Neighborhood / Cuisine
East Village / American New
* Street Address
157 2nd Ave. (Between 9th St. & 10th St.), New York, NY 10003
* Phone
(212) 539-1900
Advertisements

Please let me know what you think

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: