WE'VE MOVED

Hello!

Thank you for the amazing 8 years here at A Baked Creation, we can't thank you enough for the memories! But we've decided to move over to a new site - Sincerely, Syl. Please join us there for future posts on all the things you loved here!

Sincerely,
Syl

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Alder

157 Second Avenue
New York, NY 10003
(212) 539-1900

Howard and I tend to make early dinner reservations when we're on vacation in New York. There are various reasons for this purpose. First, it's easier to eat at popular restaurants during the first dinner service. Second, it allows us to commute back to my aunt and uncle's place before it gets too dark. Alder fell into the first category as this 56-seat restaurant starts off quiet, but quickly got packed by the time our third plate was out.

We picked Alder because we have always wanted to try a restaurant by Chef Wylie Dufresne. Unfortunately, the price of New York City tasting menus are out of our budget, so that eliminated wd~50 from our list. But when we heard of Alder opening up, a more casual and affordable restaurant, we were very excited!

Since we were early for our dinner reservation, we waited outside as the front of the house staff finished their set up. I found the hostess a bit patronizing as we waited to be seated, but we were in very good hands with our waitress. She kept our glasses full and explained the menu and specials for the day. She made some good recommendations and we felt like she was honest in answering our questions. She also suggested we each order three dishes to share and the kitchen would decide which order to serve them in.

To start, we were offered an amuse bouche, a small bowl of pickled vegetables.
Served first, the Pigs in a Blanket which consisted of Chinese sausage, Japanese mustard, and sweet chili sauce. These were the classiest and tidiest pigs in a blanket we've ever had, but I'm sad to say that there weren't anything surprising or unique in the flavours so it was a lackluster beginning to the meal.
Next up, Chicken Liver Toast with cornbread, grapefruit marmalade, and crispy chicken skin. I liked the usage of the cornbread as toast and the chicken skin while Howard really enjoyed the chicken liver.
I see the Cured Alaskan King Salmon as a light and healthy snack. Served with pine nut granola, tahini yogurt, and slices of nectarine, this was a great third dish in the procession.
I was really excited to order the New England Clam Chowder. It's one of Howard's favourite soups, so when I saw it on the menu, I said we should order it. See how it compares to ones he's had in the past. The kitchen kindly served our portions separately, but we had a bowl of "oyster crackers" to share. I read that Wylie Dufresne purées oysters and mixes them with corn and tapioca starches before frying them to resemble crackers. Needless to say, they were delicious and we could have used more!
We had some larger dishes in the end to help fill our stomachs up. I marveled at how the fish and chips were not overly oily or greasy. The Fish and Chips are served with a sweet pea-ramp tartar sauce and malt vinegar powder. Yup, powder! You roll your fish or chips in it and they become coated with vinegar goodness.
One of their most lauded dishes is the Rye Pasta with shaved pastrami. You can even watch how they make the rye pasta in their video here or in the slideshow here.

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