Wylie Dufresne is one of the City's trailblazers of molecular gastronomy, his Michelin-starred wd~50 full of cerebral and witty delights. Alder is more of a no-brainer, a friendly and affordable neighborhood tavern with cocktails and beer on tap and fun things to snack on like sausage pigs in a blanket spiked with Japanese mustard and sweet chili sauce. Smooth, luscious pub cheese is stained with red wine and accompanied with pistachio-fig brittle. Research and development is ongoing in the kitchen, finding fortuitous flavor and texture junctions in the spectacular chicken liver accented with pieces of crisp chicken skin, spread on cornbread and draped on a bed of grapefruit-and-shallot marmalade. The 56-seat space has good acoustics, with a ceiling of wood beams slatted like giant venetian blinds buffering the sound.