Another gem of a joint has opened up recently in the East Village. This gem is really cool and great, with some awesome New Orleans flare. It's called Exchange Alley and it's worth checking out. The vibe is "inspired by the spirit of venerable New York gathering spots like the San Remo Café and Max’s Kansas City and the vibe of classic New Orleans bars, but takes those influences and adds three-chord cuisine created by chef Paul Gerard."
I've been to Exchange Alley twice so far. After my first taste, I was so intrigued to come back for more chill vibe and good grub.
Jambalaya balls ($8) are wildly popular here (never seen them anywhere else) and quite tasty. Accompanied by a nice dirty gravy, it's a fine starter.
Kale is probably the hottest vegetable these days in the NYC dining scene. A side at Exchange Alley has a nice char and great kick from some Calabrese peppers.
On my second visit, I got to dig deeper into the menu here, and was pleasantly satisfied with the great fare that came out.
Big Easy BBQ Shrimp ($11) were tasty as can be. I've never been to New Orleans, but this dish brought me there. I could imagine this dish being served in a cool joint in those neck of the woods. That BBQ sauce that the shrimp were soaked in was so addictive and fabulous I wanted to bottle it and take it home. A medley of flavor that my taste buds were enamored with. I'd love to have that accompany any bread basket, any day. Delish!
Orecchiette, sweet sausage, spiced tomato, and vodka cream is fucking awesome. Period. It's got such a beautiful kick, balanced with that wonderful sweetness of the homemade sausage, a truly great dish. I devoured it in seconds
So stop by Exchange Alley when you have a moment. Grab a drink and a bite, sit back and enjoy the vibe, enjoy life. As their website states, Exchange Alley is "a restaurant and bar, but it’s more than just that. It’s a hideout, a clubhouse, and a new century twist on the iconic spaces of the past where high and low could find common ground and drink, eat, laugh and carouse together to the small hours. The way we see it, it’s an outpost for the mad ones." I am totally a mad one, and you should be too.
424 E. 9th St. (bet A and 1st)
New York, NY 10009