My first shock regarding the 74th Street Alehouse was that when I walked in at 7:45 on a wednesday evening, the place was absolutely jam-packed. After getting over this initial shock, I managed to snag a small table for two from a departing couple. A waiter was over almost immediately to clear and wipe the table. I very much appreciated this, because nothing is worse than sitting at a dirty bar table full of someone else’s dishes.
Our drink orders were nearly immediately taken by a somewhat crazed waitres–crazed in the good, ‘all over the place’ kind of way, but it did take a little while to get the point across that I wanted my appetizer platter as quickly as she could bring it out, as oppose to when the others were getting their food.
Our drink arrived in a timely manner and continued to do so all night, despite our rather confusing switcheroo as our group grew and we table hopped to larger and larger tables.
The food was very different than your average pub grub. I had a meditteranean platter with pita (very good, surely from one of the many great Greek restaurants within a few blocks) and a dipping sauce that had some sort of amazing tangy bite–not citrusy, but just straight tang. Unlike anything I had tried before. It also came with a greek salad, which was dressed differently than a normal greek salad–a little bit less of vinegar bite to eat, but still with the same flavor. I enjoyed it very much.
B was less pleased with his gumbo, as he felt it was sacrificing too much flavor for a spice effect, luckily he had ordered it with a side of the goat cheese salad.
This goat cheese salad deserves its own paragraph. I was impressed after trying it that he was willing to sacrifice the bite he gave to me. Basically it was a bread crumb encrusted baked goat cheese on spring greens, but some how the mix of ingrediants came together in this warming but fresh flavor profile that really could have been described as a perfect salad for a cold winter night by the fire or for a sunny summer afternoon on the patio. This was what salad should be like–simple (I could barely detect a dressing) and rich.