Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Restaurant Week '10: 10 Downing

Cocoa Nib Pannacotta
After last year's fantastic Restaurant Week lunch at Convivio, Spam and I decided to take the chance again, this time a dinner at 10 Downing. I know 10 Downing as more of a scene then for culinary genius, but it's Restaurant Week, the whole point is to try out new places.

Potato-Leek Soup
I like the cliché interior of 10 Downing, a wall covered in art work, full length windows that open during the warmer months, romantic mood lighting, dark wood. It was packed, but not too noisy, and the service was stellar. Like most places, the RW $45 dinner gives you three course, three choices each. Someone forget to take a picture of the menu, so I'm going to work entirely off memory here. For our appetizer, Spam decided on Potato-Leek Soup with a dash of olive oil, while I went for the Bacon-Veal Terrine.

Veal & Bacon Terrine
Yes, I disregarded the soup or salad option and went for the piggy-cow mash-up. I tried to eat this how the chef intended, but I did hit the deconstructed plate snag. Place the terrine on the bread with a schmear of the accompanying paté? Eat the terrine on its own? I decided to try the former, and enjoyed my little plate of meat. I'm an amateur when it comes to terrine, so I don't know if this one was good or not. It tasted deliciously of bacon and veal, and it was moist.

Mushroom Polenta Gratin
To share another appetizer, we chose to share the Mushroom Polenta Gratin and it was awesome. It was like high class cheesy grits, but polenta with wild mushrooms and Manchego. I think that this would make the ultimate Thanksgiving side dish, or appetizer for a Restaurant Week meal.

Beef Short Ribs
The entree choices consisted of Beef Short Ribs, Striped Bass, or Chicken. In need of iron (I donated blood last week) and in love with meat, I went from the short ribs. Tender to the point of flaky (great thing), very good seasoning, but a tad on the dry side, I would place these in the win column.

Striped Bass
Spam, our newest vegetarian-that comes into play later, picked the Striped Bass. I'm currently working on my fish repertoire, but I would say this was a good example of well cooked striped bass. Flaky, meaty, and moist, it is also very recommended.

Cocoa Nib Pannacotta
Our original dessert plans were the Butterscotch Pot de Creme and the Cocoa Nib Panna Cotta, but they were out of pots de creme (I still want to see what that's about), and were instead given the Spicy Gingerbread. First, the Cocoa Nib Panna Cotta was fantastic, extremely good dark chocolate sauce, creamy panna cotta, little fresh marshmallows and moist, fudgy brownies. I'd eat this every day if I could, and we didn't even get the real thing, just the sampler!

Spicy Gingerbread
Then things got dicey. The spicy gingerbread was respectable, good cake right on the edge of fluffy and dense, candied ginger scattered on the plate underneath a sauce of some sort. I thought I tasted some porcine, meaty, bacon? Bacon and gingerbread? No, couldn't be, I've just had too much wine (speaking of, sorry for the blurs, very good wine). I went home, looked up the spicy gingerbread description and sure enough, bacon-brown butter vinaigrette. Sorry, Spam, next time I will ask when I think you may be eating bacon.

Worth the $45 Restaurant Week sampler menu? Yes, no smugness, pretty good amount of great food, and definitely makes me want to stop by for the real deal meal one day.

10 Downing
10 Downing St.
(212) 255-0300


Sarah @ The Foodie Diaries said...

im thinking of going here tomorrow night! that fish looks amazing!

Dee said...

Does 10 Downing have a special $45 RW deal? RW dinner is typically $35, right?

donuts4dinner said...

What do you mean by "working on my fish repertoire"? I ask because I'm not a seafood person, and people act like this is suuuuuuuuuch a big deal.

Jessica Hartley said...

I had a similar dining experience at 10 Downing but I think you gave them too much credit. Their food was just okay. Yes they are a cool trendy downtown restaurant with great drinks and dessert. And unfortunately that was pretty much it!

And they were out of the Butterscotch pots de creme when I went too!Maybe they just put it on the menu to draw us in?

Feel free to check out my review on Hartley Confections here: