The National: Meet Your Freeman Alley Alternative

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Are you tired of beards, dead animals, and long lines but still like eating on Rivington Street? Then welcome the National, a restaurant by industry newcomers Julie Dickstein and Jeremy Hogeland. Pretty much unheard of before WWD stopped by, the National offers, in the words of owner Dickstein, "craveable food." What exactly does that mean? Chef Zoe Feigenbaum, who turned from book publishing to culinary school like some sort of Sloane CrosleycumApril Bloomfield and who is the sister of Emma Feigenbaum of PBS's Everyday Food, presents an "eclectic" menu. Lobster rolls and jerk pork ribs? This sounds ominous shades of SHO! but it actually shapes up pretty well since she uses local ingredients and changes the menu nearly daily. (Check out last Saturday's menu, below.) There are 30 seats, subway tiles, lights from the Philippines, tables from Lansky's Lounge, a liquor license, Counter Culture beans, homemade pastries, croissants from Ceci-Cela, and a no-reservations policy.

The National, 8 Rivington St., nr. Chrystie St., 212-777-2177
Menu: The National [PDF]