Friday, October 31, 2014

Tuesdays with TT: Alias Restaurant

Another day, another Blackboard Eats coupon. This time for Alias Restaurant on the Lower East Side. This place had not been on my radar at all since it is more of a neighborhood place. Serious Eats did a review of the appetizers a while back and they seemed to like them. The full menu also looked interesting, so we took a shot. We got there at just the right time before the wait jumped from a couple minutes to an hour. Lucky us!

After being seated, we ordered drinks and two appetizers and were given some bread and what I believe to be a red pepper, chickpea and white bean dip. Unfortunately, our appetizers came out super quick so I was only able to taste a little of this. It was quite good and a perfect summer dip.

CT says: I really liked the dip. I’ve enjoyed both white bean dip and hummus, but never thought to mix the two. However, the end result was a light, almost fluffier, hummus flavor. A great starter!

CT & I have read and become firm believers that appetizers are more often than not the stars of the menu. Alias was no exception. The only problem was choosing which ones we wanted.

Up first was the crab cake: panko crusted, parsley and celery leaf salad, meyer lemon, tartar sauce. I am a huge crabcake fan and this one certainly leans toward the top of the list. There was hardly any filler at all, just yummy crab. The salad lightened up the whole dish. The tartar sauce was more of a dressing that was loaded with mayo, which was a plus.

We also chose the Baked Goat Cheese with red pepper relish, green olives, mint, toasted bread. This was also very good. Little balls of cheese to spread on crunchy bread and top with some sauce. As our friend LH would say, it wasn’t super “goatey.” It was just creamy, cheesy, yumness.

CT says: The sauce tasted like a very fresh, chunky marinara and was delicious! After ordering, I also noticed the “olives” aspect of the dish and was concerned. However, if they were there, they were minced into the sauce and not individually noticeable – a win for me and the dish!

For mains, CT and I decided to share since there were also a couple dishes we both wanted to try.

First was the Half Rack of St. Louis Style BBQ Heritage Ribs with cole slaw and jumbo fried onion rings. To be honest, I am not at all familiar with the St. Louis style of BBQ, even though I love BBQ. According to Wikipedia, the style basically comes down to using a ton of sauce on the ribs. As you can see, the chef did not deviate from this. The ribs were super tender and fall off the bone. We had to eat this with a fork since all the meat fell off as you picked up a rib and not to mention the shear messiness it would have wreaked without utensils. The onion rings were indeed jumbo. They used a super sweet onion that was nicely fried. I could eat those all day. The cole slaw gave some nice contrast to the dish, but individually not remarkable.

CT says: The ribs were delicious! Initially, I didn’t know if a small neighborhood joint could really have good ribs… but they did! The sauce was yummy, a little sweet but not overbearing. And the meat really was fall-off-the-bone tender. I’m not always a huge fan of onions rings, but they were really crisp on the outside and sweet on the inside and balanced the plate well.

Next was Seared Beef Skirt Steak with blue cheese butter, sherry glazed onions, olive oil crushed potatoes. This was good, but the meat got tough, so it wasn’t as enjoyable as the ribs. CT & I actually learned how to make compound butters in our cooking class, so we weren’t that impressed with a bleu cheese version. Tasty, yes. Hard to make, no. The onions were nice and sweet. I really liked the olive oil crushed potatoes. There is no potato dish that I would turn down.

CT says: It was a solid steak, but I would stick with the ribs.

As if all of this wasn’t enough food for the two of us, we decided to get a side of vegetables. We chose the Braised Beets with ricotta salata, oranges & pistachio. It was a HUGE portion. The orange gave a nice tang to the beets and the pistachio a nice crunch. I was really happy with this choice.

Now on a sad note, I physically wasn’t able to get dessert. I am not a dessert person, but the Chocolate Guinness Goodness was calling my name. It is a chocolate mousse topped with cream. I guess I will have to return and make sure to save room!

All in all, it was a great meal. I would definitely recommend checking this place out. They also have burgers and nachos if you prefer a more informal meal. Everything is priced reasonably.

When we got the bill, I noticed that it was super cheap. It turned out the waitress forgot to put our appetizers on the bill. She quickly remedied this and thanked me for being honest. Unlike at Robataya, where they forgot to charge me for a beer, here the items that they added to the bill still got the 30% off. Do you tell the waiter when things are accidentally left off the bill? Let me know in the comments.

Alias on Urbanspoon

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Comments

5 Responses to “Tuesdays with TT: Alias Restaurant”
  1. CT says:

    Honesty is the best policy!

  2. kim says:

    I’ve wanted to come to Alias for brunch. There are just so many options in that area.

    I always let the waitstaff know because the difference is usually paid out of their pocket due to their mistake.

    Besides, what goes around, comes around.

  3. I have to say, it depends on the service. I would usually let them know; besides, I don’t order anything at a restaurant I’m not fully prepared to pay for (this is a good policy to have, even on dates!), so it makes no real difference to me either way – and as Kim says above, it’s usually paid out of pocket, so that isn’t nice.

    A few things: yes, I agree, what’s with that, though? To have good apps and everything else be meh? I hope that’s not a trend… the next big restaurant thing: Appetizers Only (that should be the name of a restaurant, ha). :P

    The ribs do sound yummy – I guess I like the St. Louis style of BBQ cuz I like saucy things. I believe NC style is vinegar (not tomato) based and tends to be served ‘dry’/'naked’/without sauce. I sauce it myself.

    Vidalia onions maybe? Those are pretty big and super sweet.

    I laughed at the part about “tastes good, but not hard to make” – the blue cheese butter. You & CT = adorable

    I love beets (I usually roast them) but I think I’ll try that – a crumble of ricotta salata and a squirt of orange juice, or maybe lemon/lime since I find them already pretty sweet. I think that would work nicely.

    Thanks for a great review! I want to check this place out, maybe you & CT will come and we can get that Guinness Goodness :)

  4. Shaun says:

    FWiW,

    I never say anything, but I’m usually more generous with the tip, having been in the business for many years when younger.

  5. Hungry says:

    As a lover of all things involving ribs, I’ve come across the notion that St. Louis style ribs are sticky and sweet. Meaning their very saucy and on the sweeter side.

    I’ve been undercharged before. Sometimes, I only notice after they swiped my CC. So instead, I leave the difference in cash for the waitress on top of the tip. So they can take it as extra tip or pay back the restaurant for missed food.

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