Located across the street from Loreley on the LES (German restaurant and biergarten), down a private alley, Freeman’s gives off a seemingly private setting with a country décor. I’m convinced there’s a portal lining the alley that magically transports you to Brooklyn, the setting you’d be more likely to find this place. While the outside looks very quaint and feminine, the interior is very rugged, designed to look like the inside of a hunting cabin: taxidermy and old landscapes and portraits line the walls. My “masculine energy” (don’t ask) was a big fan. I’m also going to say this yet again about a restaurant – Freemans is the perfect place for a date (hint hint to my future boyfriends on places to take me). It’s not loud and for once I thought the lighting in the restaurant wasn’t too dim – I could in fact actually see my food this time!
To preface this review everything on the menu was good, certain things were exceptional, but I do think it was overhyped a bit. I also disliked every drink that was ordered. I won’t go through every cocktail, but I specifically hated the Montauk Fog: Gin, Green Chartreuse, orgeat, lime juice, bitters. It came looking like a theatrical performance (the green lime rind on top was on fire) and tasted like tropical Tylenol. Sorry Freemans… I just wasn’t feeling your cocktails!
House Made Tomato-Basil Pork Sausage: The sausage was really good. It was very clearly made in-house, was perfectly seasoned, and had a texture almost similar to a meatball (which I was ok with). It came with roasted peppers, caramelized onions and grilled sourdough toast.
Hot Artichoke Dip with Crisp Bread: I was told this dip is a must-have and I will agree. I’m pretty sure I had more than my third of it (we were sharing) and couldn’t stop licking the bowl clean. My only complaint is there just wasn’t enough. The dip was gone long before we could even make a dent in the portion of bread they gave us. I also don’t think it’s meant to be split between more than two people!
Seared Colorado Lamb Medallions: This came atop a fresh corn polenta with a cherry tomato relish. My friend ordered this dish but I had a couple bites. The corn polenta was really good, but I tend to like any kind of corn mush (yeah that kind of sounds gross, but it’s true). The lamb itself was good but slightly overcooked. I have a feeling that’s the nature of the dish since the lamb is seared off the bone, but she and I both would have liked this dish more if the lamb were less cooked.
Seared Filet Mignon: This is hands down THE dish you order at Freemans. In fact, I’m still thinking about it and I had it a couple nights ago. It was cooked perfectly medium rare and melted in your mouth like butter – seriously the texture was just out of this world. If I could have figured out a way to wrap myself in this steak I would have (another gross comment on my part, but again true). It came with mashed potatoes, which were great, some sweet & sour onions and a horseradish cream. While I liked the onions and the horseradish cream, I honestly wasn’t sure what to really do with either. To me it’s weird to cut up and eat onions on their own, but that’s what I did, because the filet required no additional flavoring. The horseradish cream I mixed into the mashed potatoes, which was a nice effect; however, I felt like the mashed potatoes were good on their own without an additional cream. Regardless, ORDER THE FILET! (and yes that’s an order).
Garlic Sautéed Green Beans: These were cooked perfectly but were lacking in flavor. I think they just needed more garlic.
** Forgot to photograph dessert. Sorry guys! **
Chocolate Brownie with Vanilla Ice Cream and Chocolate Sauce: This was pretty standard – the brownie was good, the chocolate sauce was great, and the vanilla ice cream was smooth. My only complaint was the brownie wasn’t warm; when I have a “brownie sundae” I want my ice cream to melt over the hot brownie.
Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake: This came with a summer berried whipped cream that was really something – I couldn’t get enough. The pound cake itself was average. I wish it had been thicker and denser.
Next Time: I want to try the Rock Shrimp and Roasted Corn Fritters on the appetizer menu and I want to try a bite of the BBQ Pork Ribs (under entrees) off of someone else’s plate because I’m pretty sure I’m going to be getting that Filet every time.
Freemans: End of Freeman Alley off Rivington (between Bowery and Chrystie), New York, NY ($$$)