May 16, 2009

10 Downing - 10 on a Scale of 20?

10 DowningA couple of weeks ago I went with a girlfriend to 10 Downing for brunch. Now maybe that was the wrong choice, and I should re-review it for dinner.

However, given the brunch experience I'm not sure it's necessary to go back.

Not that 10 Downing was bad. It wasn't. It just wasn't that great.

And in this day and age with the economy the way it is - opening a new restaurant is a risky venture. It is truly Darwinian - survival of the fittest. Not many will succeed. And in my opinion - trendiness and hype will only get you so far.

What 10 Downing has going for it is a nice interior, positive reviews and more importantly - a trendy prime West Village spot directly across from Da Silvano and it's sibling Bar Pitti. The food is somewhere between New American and Mediterranean. Surprise, surprise - isn't that the market most new restaurants seem to be aiming for these days?

We ordered the 10 Downing Salad with chicories, piperade & manchego vinaigrette. Nice and crisp - the manchego certainly added a new twist to an otherwise ordinary salad. But for $10 bucks, not a bad deal. However...don't expect to get full off of that unless you already ate or plan on eating again very soon.

On the sweet side - the Challah french toast was thick and dense. A little underdone for my taste - super eggy with batter that was raw enough to make you a little nervous. The strawberries and creme fraiche were a nice touch- although they proved too heavy for the underdone bread, resulting in a somewhat soggy mess. Not much points for presentation.

All in all - 10 Downing is an "okay" choice - but why settle for okay when you can get great. Leave 10 Downing for the model types who go there for the salad and head across town to The Smith where you can get a real brunch.

10 Downing Food & Wine
10 Downing St. New York, NY 10014

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