Chef Wylie Dufresne at Alder.Provided

Alder has been doing sophisticated pub grub since it opened in March 2013, but it hasn’t had a burger on the menu until this month.

Burgers were 2014’s stunt food, especially the bun, with notable entries including the wildly faddish Ramen Burger at Ramen.Co, the less successful Rice Burger at Yonekichi, and the Pumpkin Spice Latte Burger at Umami Burger that we’re not ashamed to say we didn’t try.

But all this experimentation makes Alder’s entry, a first on any menu by chef Wylie Dufresne, all the more surprising for its simplicity.We asked the chef to tell us a little more about it.

Why was this the right time for a burger?


“Ever since Alder’s inception we’ve been riffing on pub food and trying to make it our own. We’ve been having fun with pub cheese, pigs in a blanket and other bar foods, and it was time to bring that to a burger.”

Were you tempted to go out of the box with it?

“No. We wanted to keep it pretty straightforward, especially since it is only served at the bar and bar burgers do tend to be more simple. That’s why there is no onion, tomato, etc. on there. But we did put a lot of thought into it; created our own blend of meat and made our own cheese in-house. The cheese is really the kicker!”

It’s not the holiday season without __.

“A big glass of eggnog! I love eggnog and I certainly would not have it any other time of year. Eggnog is like Rudolph or Frosty: It doesn’t really work in the summer.”

What are you looking forward to next year?

“I’m excited to see what Dave Chang does with [Momofuku] Ko in 2015.”