Freemans is somewhat of a New York institution, and its word-of-mouth power is obviously strong when you realise its off the beaten track location. Hidden from street view at the end of a long alleyway in the Lower East Side, Freemans is a rugged, colonial-style American restaurant offering hearty, nourishing meals to hungry patrons and classic old-style cocktails to thirsty visitors at the bar.
The restaurant space is dimly lit, with tables positioned closely together, making the dining experience an intimate one. Both plant and animal life adorn the walls, adding to the sporting club feel that this place exudes.
The standout dish on the menu here (and arguably the most ordered) is the hot artichoke dip. Tables can be observed virtually inhaling this creamy mix, scooping it in lumps on to the crisp bread that serves as its accompaniment. Another must-try appetiser is the ‘Devils on Horseback’ – a delicious combination of dates stuffed with cheese and wrapped in bacon, then broiled until crisp. The main dishes here are of considerable size, offering robust flavours in the simple and classic options. Favourites on the menu include the herb-roasted chicken as well as the seared filet mignon. At $29.00, the filet is sized nicely and cooked to your liking. The sweet and sour onions and horseradish cream balance out the strong flavours of the meat perfectly.
If you find yourself not too hungry, hit the bar instead and order one of the classic or new cocktails on offer. Mixed to perfection by knowledgeable bartenders (or ‘mixologists’) patrons are offered an eclectic mix of both old and new tastes. Cocktails are very reasonably priced given their quality and the love that is clearly poured in by their makers.
For an old-world American experience, you can’t go past Freemans and its classic tastes and offerings.
Recommended: Hot artichoke dip; Devils on horseback; Herb-roasted Goffle Road Farms Chicken, chilli-glazed heirloom carrots, charred-onion mayonnaise.
Cuisine: Colonial American
Best for: Dinner
End of Freeman Alley. Off Rivington between The Bowery and Chrystie, New York, NY 10002