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Foie Gras Terrine at Alder

Clever pub grub in the East Village

Wylie Dufresne, known for his kitchen wizardry at Wd-50, claims that Alder, his new “neighborhood spot” offers “casual food.” While the room feels buzzy and comfortable in a modern way, the thought and execution behind dishes like the foie gras terrine ($18) are anything but casual.

Foie gras terrine Alder This terrine features a circle of divinely silken foie nesting within an outer ring of poached apple, with a thin layer of chartreuse yogurt binding it onto a slim English muffin. The textural combination is crisp yet smooth; the flavors deep, rich, tart and brightened with flecks of sea salt. The playful and delicious result is something only a 2013 James Beard Best Chef New York City can pull off; definitely not a bite found in your average neighborhood pub (or even gastropub, for that matter).

The rest of the menu has the same sense of fun and reinvention: Chinese sausage with mustard and sweet chili sauce spiff up traditional pigs-in-a-blanket ($12), for example, while a New England clam chowder ($16) features oyster crackers — crackers literally made from Dufresne-transformed oysters.

The Alder is Dufresne’s first new restaurant in a decade (Wd-50 opened in 1993), with much gentler prices and a more accessible menu than its older sibling. Judging from the nightly throng inside, East Village diners have waited quite long enough for Dufresne’s encore, “casual” or otherwise.

Alder
157 Second Ave.
212-539-1900
aldernyc.com

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