New York City has a very high level of diversity when it comes to restaurant types, but one underrepresented cuisine is from Austria. I haven’t been to a ton of Austrian restaurants before, so was curious to see what the flavor and texture of this supposedly beautiful country (which I really want to visit at some point in the near future) would be like when I heard an Austrian bistro café opened up in the NYU campus area. Overall, I had an OK meal but there were some shortcomings.
The concise menu at Freud (a somewhat cerebral name for a café) consists of shareable snacks, small appetizers and larger main dishes. Spätzle, a popular egg noodle dish you often see in Germany and Austria, had nice display and texture, but the flavor was a little stronger than I wished it would be. I was curious to see how mussels would work together with artichokes, lovage and tomatoes but the dish turned out just flat with not much to remember. The best dish of the night belonged to pork schnitzel, a thin fried slab of meat (with cranberry on top) that was quite tender (even more so than its Japanese counterpart tonkatsu), and really worked beautifully with the sides of cucumber salad and Yukon gold potato salad. The texture was quite amazing, and I was busy stuffing each piece of meat into my mouth.
I haven’t had a burger in a while, so was curious to see how the kitchen would put together one. I did like the patty very nicely cooked medium rare, but the overall flavor with farmhouse cheddar cheese and onion jam was a little too stronger than I had hoped for. Getting the flavor of burger right is always a tough task to achieve in this age where people tend to like anything that is salty and greasy, and Freud felt slightly off compared to my optimal level. For dessert, apple strudel (a type of layered pastry) accompanied by whipped cream and vanilla sauce was solid but not delightful enough.
Getting a reservation at Freud is relatively easy, and you can probably walk in as well. I liked the clean and cozy vibe of the dining space inside and it looks like a very promising place for day drinking outside at its outdoor space. The restaurant has a full bar, with some nice, underrated Austrian wines you don’t get to see often in this city. Freud is not perfect, but if you want to see what Austrian fare is like, it is a nice place to step by for some snacks to share along with a glass of Austrian wine.
- Creativity: 7.5/10
- Execution: 7.0/10
- Ingredients: 7.5/10
- Flavor: 7.5/10
- Texture: 8.0/10
Address: 506 LaGuardia Place, New York, NY 10012
Telephone: (212) 777-0327