Food & Drink

Austrian eats in Alphabet City

Published On 11/30/2010 Published On 11/30/2010

Wolves and humans have a complex relationship -- get lost in the wild and they'll gladly eat you, but feed them in your home and you'll probably end up calling 'em your dawg. Flip the script and have a wolf feed you, at Edi & The Wolf. From the team behind the Michelin starred Seasonal (one named Edi, the other Wolf...gang!), E&W's a more casual Austrian joint designed to mirror the motherland's Heurigers, or wine-taverns, deriving its masculine, barn-style aesthetic from an imperfectly planked wood ceiling, military boot vases, 40ft of church-salvaged rope looped above the bar, and chandeliers & bar taps made from shell casings, appropriate as they'll still be getting folks bombed. Reminiscent of victuals from the chef's childhood and intended for sharing, smaller plates include cured pork belly w/ pearl onions and horseradish, apple-/dill-/walnut-adorned pickled sardines, and the pear/ radish/ cheddar Freekah Salad, not on any lunch menu, as the Freekahs come out at night. Larger options don't shy from decadence, with comfort grub like Alsatian flatbreads topped with combos like cipollinis/cured figs/chives, and apples/cabbage/horseradish/boudin noir; honey & beer-covered baby backs; and sea scallops over red beet pasta, oyster mushrooms, and spaetzle w/ Austrian mountain cheese -- eat too much and you may find yourself (Von) Trapped in your chair. The hooch'll include appropriately Euro vino and brew, and there's even a whole roasted duck feast for large groups, though wolf it all down yourself and your companions will certainly cry fowl.

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1. Edi & The Wolf 102 Ave C, New York, NY 10009 (Lower East Side)

The barn-style interior of Edi & The Wolf captures the causal feel of an Austrian wine-tavern. With its quirky, industrial-chic secret patio and a menu of braised short ribs, wiener schnitzel, and goat cheese ravioli, this Lower East Side joint is unlike any other. Try the Austrian cinnamon sugar-caramelized pancake bites with grapefruit, or get a four-course prix fixe with options like English pea dip (with flatbread crisps and ricotta salata), roasted lamb (with mint jus and potatoes).