Freemans could be said to be one of the more reclusive restaurants found in New York. Nestled in the alley behind Freemans Sporting Club (which should also be noted — they have a beautiful selection of handmade suits and a distinctly antique men’s barbershop in the rear) Freemans might easily be missed by the daily passerby. The entrance to the restaurant is quite demure and unassuming and if there had not been a small sign out front, I would have hesitated to enter at all. Inside though the decor mirrors that of the Sporting Club, a sort of classic old man and gentlemanly feel, with the added ambiance of walls covered in taxidermied animals. Apparently I arrived at an odd time, the kitchen was about to close in preparation for dinner, but normally Freemans is bustling. I was very grateful for the bartender who squeezed me in when I was about to be turned away because of the preparation. Due to the combination of a closing kitchen and a lunch menu, my options for ordering were minimal. I chose the spinach salad and devils on horseback. An excellent cocktail was also consumed, quite the respite from the hot Manhattan sun, but I drank it before I could take a photo. This is a habit I’m working hard to change.
The spinach salad was mediocre. It was not unappetizing, but there was nothing quite extraordinary about its dressing, bacon, eggs, and pine nuts.
On the contrary, the devils on horseback were amazing. Piping hot, the prunes stuffed with Stilton Cheese and wrapped with bacon were a delicious surprise. All of the flavors complemented each other nicely: the salty bacon, lightly sweet prunes, and nutty Stilton.
After tasting just a small sample of the menu, I am eager to revisit Freemans to sample more of what they offer.
Freemans is located at:
The End of Freeman Alley
[Off of Rivington Between the Bowery and Chrystie]
New York, NY 10002