Sunday, June 17, 2012

Freemans: Another LES Winner, Complete With Beards

Friday night I took my date to Freemans in the Lower East Side. After checking out the Guide to Killing it This Summer from the fellas over at Immaculate Infatuation, I started perusing their reviews and took their word for it on Freemans. At 8:15 we only got slapped with a 30 minute wait which we happily spent downing some German brews across the street at Loreley (which actually kinda sucks at the inside bar, definitely sit out back). The vibe at Freemans is cool - lodge-like with lots of taxidermy and wood paneling, and I'm pretty sure everyone who works here has some form of a beard. Except maybe the women. Maybe. The bar scene in the front room is pretty lively and there's another less crowded bar for those in the know, in the second room to the right. You also feel like a badass walking down Freeman's Alley to the restaurant.

Freemans has a solid drink menu that can please just about anyone - my Freemans Cocktail (Rye, lemon juice, pom molasses, bitters) was very good but a little too sweet. They do have a pretty good bourbon selection with some off-the-run stuff like Pappy 15-year and Michter's 10-year, though it's a bit aggressively priced - Woodford should not be 14 bucks a pour....Moving on to dinner - the food was awesome. We started off with the artichoke dip which, unless you're allergic to artichokes (does that allergy exist?) or dairy I guess cuz there's plenty of cheese/cream in there, you MUST order. It's perfect. Order it. My date had roasted pollack with asparagus, parsnip puree, and parsnip chips. The fish was cooked spot on and tasted like "fish and chips without the whole oil and fried part"...which I guess is a good thing. Well it's definitely a good thing for my date, because too much oil/fried stuff and she packs on a few too many pounds...and then The Grumpy Foodie finds a new date. Annnnnyway, the only negative out of that dish was the parsnip puree but that was due more to a certain person's dislike for parsnip - so if you don't mind the tangy flavor, go for it. I went with the filet (at sub $30 it's one of the best value plays in the city), served with horseradish cream, mashed potatoes and sweet and sour onions. The onion is usually a whole roasted guy, but they recently changed it up....and rightfully so, these things were insane. No idea how they did it, I'm sure balsamic was involved but beyond that, you got me. The filet, which I usually don't order for lack of flavor, was about as good of a filet as you can get - good size, good char, perfect medium rare. Again, one of THE value plays in New York.

So the food and the drinks were definitely winners here...the service was so so. Nice hostess and friendly enough waiter, but there were two tables of ~6 who were there before us, so after the artichoke dip we waited at least a half an hour as the 12 flannel-clan brahs ahead of us were served. The British couple who sat down next to us 45 minutes after we go there got there food at the same time we did. The had just ordered a bottle of wine after cocktails too, so they were going to either have multiple desserts or start g-g-guzzling.

So the bottom line - will I be back? INNNNNdeed. Good place for a date, good place to go with flannel-clad buddies, good place to bring out of towners. Just a good place.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Doesn't take much to make you feel like a badass huh?