Theatrical Cocktails and Very Good Austrian Fare at Bar Freud (NYC)
Being out in Greenwich Village, there’s many options for good cocktails. The relatively new spot that serves delicious (and strong) cocktails with a bit of dramatic flair at Bar Freud. This lovely bar/restaurant is owned by Chef Eduard Frauneder of Edi and the Wolf teamed up with his fellow Austrian Albert Trummer, the ever-inventive mixer of elixirs, and Mr. Trummer’s son, Jakob.
We started our evening with Jakob’s drinks. My companion had the Recovery Time, a vodka-based drink flavored with raspberries, Earl Grey essence, lemon, and smoked with apple wood. The drink arrives in a glass cloche filled with apple wood smoke and lifted to smell its delicately sweet aroma. The drink was fruity but balanced from the floral bitterness from Earl Grey essence. My Saffron Sazerac is a whiskey-based cocktail made with saffron elixir, house bitters, sugarcane extract, flambéed with housemade absinthe. Jakob’s pyrotechnic display of shuffling flambéed absinthe was captivating. Besides the theatrics, the absinthe did linger in the drink like what a traditionally prepared Sazerac (a rinse of the said spirit) and a slight stickiness on the stem of the flute. The Sazerac was strong like it should and the bitterness of the saffron works well for the potent drink. (Note: not all cocktails have these flairs.)
The cold small plates of colorful deviled eggs and vitello tonnato. The trio of deviled eggs were very tasty and the colors are naturally dyed from beet (for the purple) and mustard oil (yellow), changing the flavor profile slightly. Vitello tonnato is a classic Piedmont dish cold, sliced veal covered with a creamy, mayonnaise-like sauce that has been flavored with tuna, fennel and capers. It’s an elegant appetizer that’s flavorful.
For something heartier, we had shared the Austrian classics – veal wiener schnitzel and spätzle with wild mushrooms. The wiener schnitzel was delicious – crisp crust without being too thick and the veal was thin yet juicy. The ligonberry jam was the perfect sweet-tart foil. The spätzle was very satisfying. Hearty, creamy and the little eggy pasta was cooked perfectly. The mushrooms added a bit of earthy flavor and meatiness without the meat. The side of fried Brussels sprouts was crisp and balanced by the spicy, piquant curry vinaigrette.
For dessert, we had the apple strudel plated with creme anglaise and schlag and tiramisu. The strudel was very good. Crisp, flaky pastry filled with a good ratio of crisp, sweet and tart apples dotted with raisins, and not too heavy on the cinnamon. Their version of the tiramisu is much lighter than I’ve anticipated. A lot more whipped coffee-mascarpone cream making the dessert lighter and not much of the coffee soaked lady fingers. I prefer this kind of tiramisu than the one that’s heavier on the lady fingers.
I had a cappuccino to finish off the meal and it’s a good one that reminds me of the ones I’ve had in Italy – strong and robust espresso with just enough foamed milk.
Overall, it was a great night. The cocktails were inventive, strong and balanced. The food was hearty enough for the drinks and it’s delicious. Our waitress was friendly and very knowledgeable of the menu.
To view more photos of this visit, please view the gallery below or CLICK HERE for the photo set:
506 LaGuardia Place
(between Bleecker St and W Houston St)
New York, NY 10012
Phone: +1 (212) 777-0327