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Inside Alder, photo courtesy:
Inside Alder, photo courtesy:

Talk of the Town: WD-50 Chef Wylie Dufresne Unveils Alder

Alder, the second restaurant from Wylie Dufresne, opens in the East Village

When the renowned pioneer of molecular gastronomy and multi-course tasting menus decides to open a casual neighborhood pub, what can you expect? Say hello to Alder, the new 56-seat “modern interpretation of a public house” in the East Village, where WD-50‘s Chef Wylie Dufresne and Executive Chef Jon Bignelli conjured up a sharable menu of surprising sweet and savory combinations for drinks, dinner and dessert.

If you’re looking for a bar menu with burgers and fries, you won’t find it here. Instead, start with one of 12 signature cocktails like the Zereshk Is History, made with gin, fresh Iranian berries, grape-musk molasses and tonic, or the Applethy, a horseradish and green apple vodka mix ($12 each, and many available in non-alcoholic versions as well). As for the food, expect a selection of avant-garde dishes like Caesar salad nigiri bites ($15), Chinese‌ sausage served “pigs in a blanket” style ($11) with Japanese mustard and sweet chili sauce, shaved pastrami rye pasta ($18), and pork rib served with saffron spaetzle, green apple-celery root hash ($22). The prices—nothing is over $25—are a welcome change from those at WD-50, but rest assured, quality and taste are not compromised.

Unexpected food pairings carry over to the dessert menu, where you can cleanse your palate with treats including vanilla ice cream topped with red pepper oil ($6), root beer pudding with smoked cashews ($8) and a banoffee tart, made with caramelized milk, sour cream and banana nougatine ($8).

The minimalist-designed gastro pub is open from 6pm-11pm Wednesday through Sunday. Although the new spot doesn’t take reservations, you can grab a drink and receive a text when your table is ready. Take it from us: This second act is definitely worth the wait. —CASSIE KREITNER

Alder | 157 2nd Ave. (between 9th and 10th streets) | 212-539-1900

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