Tucked away in the East Village, you’ll walk down a few steps to enter Exchange Alley. Upon entering the restaurant, you almost feel like you’re stepping into an old speakeasy. Cozy and inviting, the space is dimly lit, clad with black and white vintage photos, and playing music circa 1940.
They’re beer and wine only, but still have a “cocktail” menu, creating unique beverages using variations of their beers and wines as the base. I went for the Cocinero (fortified rice wine, lime, agave, cilantro, jalapeño). This was so great. You get the sweetness from the rice wine, basically sake, and then a nice citrus and slightly spicy quality that would make you feel like you’re having a margarita.
Then, I ordered the Salmon with cauliflower and chilies. This was incredible. The salmon was tender and flavorful and set atop this wonderful, creamy sauce meets puree. The cauliflower had this great, slightly charred, crispness from roasting, a bit of a kick from the chili pieces, and then lightly dressed in a sweet and savory flavor that I would describe similar to soy sauce. All of these flavors are dynamic and compliment each other very nicely.
Name: Exchange Alley
Location: 424 East 9th Street, NYC
The Long and Short: Would I go back? For sure, the food and drinks are delicious.
Would I recommend it? Yes.