I've missed my regular rotation at Alder (hadn't been in 2 months), but we were back last night for a quick bite and a drink or two before my wife headed off to see a show with a friend of ours. So 4 of the 5 plates we shared were new to me.
The new-to-me fall/winter cocktails are very nice. "Dock Ellis" (we all remember him, right?) showcases applejack, while the "Burnt Reynolds" is a bit of a riff on the 1794, with rye, smoked vermouth and Campari. Tasty, those.
And the new plates? Really, really good. I think the French Onion Soup Rings have been on the menu for a while, but I hadn't had them before, and they were well worth the wait; the gravy and perfect frying technique elevates these rings way above standard "pub" food. Same can be said about the Jalapeño Poppers, though I'd guess the uni cream cheese stuffing and trout roe also add to the equation.
Shrimps on Shrimps was a nice, light break from those two items; sweet Maine shrimp green papaya salad, with a good jolt of heat, served on top of a shrimp cracker, beats the pants off the stuff served at your local Thai joint. Or even a good Thai joint.
I was a bit worried about Scotch Quail Eggs, because I'm not a big Scotch egg fan. But I shouldn't have been, as these are perfectly bite-sized, and maybe that's the problem with Scotch chicken eggs - they're practically a meal, whereas these just make you want to have another.
PIABs are still alive and well, and still good.
We didn't get around to the duck breast or hangar steak or new foie iteration, and it was mentioned to me that a bunch of new menu items are in the works, so I plan on getting Alder back in my regular rotation soon. And I know it's a busy week, but they were slammed last night at 7; there wasn't a seat to be had, and we were lucky enough to ensconce ourselves opposite the bar, standing room only.
COMP DISCLOSURE: A dish from the kitchen, and some drinks.