'Wylie Dufresne' on Serious Eats

Wylie Dufresne's Alder: Better Bar Food Through Science

Wylie Dufresne's new venture Alder—his first since wd~50—is a subtler place, casual in its setting and more reined in. Dufresne is a master of the baroque—you don't make noodles out of seafood without dreaming big—but he also knows restraint. He has stayed with wd~50 for a decade, an eternity in today's New York restaurant years, avoiding television fame or branded pasta sauces so he can keep to his work. This new restaurant (with executive chef Jon Bignelli) and bar (director Kevin Denton) takes the best of that studied creativity and deploys it with great care.

Ambitious but unfulfilling small plates restaurants are a dime a dozen these days, so leave it to Dufresne to school them on how it's done. Because Alder may be the very definition of a great small plates restaurant. It's fun here. You can drink well. The food is exciting even when it's not perfect. And you can eat to feel nourished, not just entertained. People have been calling Alder a "pub," which is wrong both for pubs and for Alder, but the restaurant makes a strong case for better living, and drinking, through chemistry.

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New York: All The Cocktails at Alder, Wylie Dufresne's New East Village Pub

"We're definitely not doing anything Modernist or molecular like we might do at WD[-50]," says bar manager Kevin Denton. "This is supposed to be the kind of bar you could just drop by and order a couple quick drinks and a bite to eat, so we want to keep that quick, simple aesthetic." Despite their unique flavors, these drinks that are meant to be drunk, not pondered. More

Le Fooding Hits Le New York

"Do we need to enlist in a movement if we've already been moved?" [Photographs: Erin Zimmer] The folks of the French culinary organization Le Fooding brought their food, art, and design to New York this past weekend, and we were... More

Wylie Dufresne's Garlic Bread

"We roast off several heads of garlic in foil and then put that through the food mill and blend it with some raw parsley and some butter. You get this really bright-green spread. We get some white hero rolls down the street, slice them lengthwise, toast them really well, spread the garlic butter on, hit them with some Parmesan cheese, and put them back in the toaster and get them nice and golden brown with melted cheese." [Grub Street]... More

'Top Chef Masters,' Episode 2: The 'Lost' Dinner

Did you watch this week's episode? Find out what each of the four contestants made using crap from vending machines during the Quickfire, and Darma Initiative–approved canned and preserved foods for Lost writers and producers during an island-themed elimination round. More

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