157 Second Avenue
New York, NY 10003
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.
here or in the slideshow here.