Alder & Birch brings natural flavors to the forefront
Sometimes you need a change, something to invigorate the spirit and come out of the past. In the last six months or so, Boyd Gaming’s been preparing recently opened Alder & Birch, a gorgeous new steakhouse at The Orleans, with sleek lines, cushy booths, windows showcasing artistic natural scenes, and a double-sided fireplace. The new décor goes perfectly with a new menu, where you can find classic dishes, but updated with a twist.
Take, for example, the cocktail program. You can get traditionals, but opt for the updated version to add some spice to your night, or adjust your attitude during happy hour. The Modernista Colada features spice-infused Botran rum (with allspice, clove, ginger and cinnamon), plus familiar flavors of pineapple gomme, Calahua and brown sugar. It looks not one bit like a traditional piña colada, but it certainly captures all those beloved flavors. Another excellent drink, the Lavender Kiss, seemingly simple, combines Ketel One vodka, Grand Marnier and champagne. An orchid petal floats lightly on top.
That simplicity mixed with the unexpected carries over to the menu. The typical bread basket offers a tasty surprise in the form of slices of white chocolate and macadamia bread. Classic steakhouse starters—carpaccio, lump crab cake, prawns—punctuate the appetizers, and a three-onion soup includes a decadently thick layer of Gruyère capping the bowl. The watermelon salad makes a completely refreshing dish, with salt and spice sprinkled lightly over squares of fruit and liberal amounts of goat cheese providing a creamy contrast to the juicy melon.
The smallish steak section’s in-house dry-aged options include grass-fed ribeye, filet mignon and the signature A&B porterhouse, a 14-ounce cut with excellent flavor, lovely to behold. Also appealing are a 12-ounce flat-iron steak and the 22-ounce bone-in ribeye.
Alder & Birch
Like all good steakhouses, Alder & Birch’s entrées make one’s mouth water as much as the steaks—the Colorado lamb rack brings in that twist through a serrano mint gelatin and oven-roasted sea bass comes with a lemon-spinach purée.
Add some sides like blue cheese scalloped potatoes, a luscious grilled cream of corn, quinoa with sprouts and roasted root veggies—parsnips, carrots, beets—and you’ll be perfectly happy.
But why not get just a little happier? Dessert can certainly do that. The double bock beer float combines the aforementioned alcohol with vanilla bean ice cream and Baileys salted caramel Irish cream liqueur. You’ll hardly miss the root beer. Tasty brioche bread pudding comes with hard bourbon and birch syrup sauce. The banana rum cake, yet again, adds a touch of decadence with a hard birch rum sauce and vanilla bean ice cream. You can choose to drizzle a bit of the sauce over the mild cake, or set it swimming. If you set it swimming, you might get a dose of déjà vu—it’s like grandma’s rum cake, but in a good way.
The Orleans, 5-10 p.m. Sun.-Thurs., 5-11 p.m. Fri.-Sat., Social Hour 4-6 p.m. daily. 702.365.7111