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Exchange Alley

424 E. 9th St. , New York, NY, 10009
nr. First Ave.

An East Village Gem, in every sense

By rl1225 on 1/18/2013

  • Overall Rating: 8
  • Food: 8
  • Service: 8
  • Décor: 10
  • Yes, I would go back!

Exchange Alley is the quintessential East Village hot spot. A hidden gem with a vibrant atmosphere, friendly staff and unpretentious air, once you step into the 50's/ New Orleans themed joint, you will not want to leave. Beautiful, authentic decor gives Exchange Alley a really homey feel. You could sit at the bar and order a tap water, admiring the scenery, and be content. The drinks are out of this world- while Exchange Alley does not have hard alcohol, they still produce delicious exotic concoctions that would make any mixologist proud: lemongrass mimosa, or jalapeno agave infused rice sake, anyone? 5 stars, drinks alone. On to the food...Westville, watch out! With the 3/$18 veggie option, it is possible to make a complete dish out of just sides. We enjoyed maple brussels sprouts with thin shreds of caramelized onions, and spiced beets with chevre, with my favorite being the grilled raddichio served with smoked mozzarella, that until further inspection looked like a poached egg. Everything was delicious, new (brussels sprouts and beets can get tiresome, but these were not!) and totally palatable. We also enjoyed the jambalaya balls, a wonderful fireball of cajun taste. I will most definitely be coming back here. First date, appetizers with friends, full dinner- Exchange Alley truly feels like they want you there, just hanging out. However, the pace is in line with this attitude, so make sure you make the time to slow down a bit to enjoy Exchange Alley.

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