10 Downing – Fit for the Prime Minister?
I’d say not. Don’t get me wrong, 10 Downing is a pretty good restaurant in the grand scheme of things. Outside of New York, it would probably be considered excellent. However, with all of the competition here in the contemporary american downtown chic space, 10 Downing ends up being only just above average.
I think my entire experience was tainted by the ridiculous behavior of the host. We arrived a mere 5 minutes late for our reservation on a Friday evening, which seems fairly reasonable for a city filled with perenially late patrons. The host told us because of our tardiness, it would be 15 minutes, they had already seated another party at our table. While this was irritating, my boyfriend and I shook it off, sat down at the bar and began to enjoy their beer selection. After 30 minutes, we decided to say something to host, just to make sure he hadn’t forgotten about us. He grunted that it would be another 5 minutes and turned his back. 20 minutes later, I got a little upset. All in all, it took us about 50-60 minutes to get to our table, at which point I was starving and supremely frustrated.
In effort to put this behind me though, I turned to the menu, which is solid and stocked with delicious and fancy sounding dishes. Smoked Sunchoke Soup with Celery Leaf Gremolata, Baked Sheep Cheese with Red Pepper Relish, and Gnocchi with Butternut Squash and Sardininan Sheep Cheese are bits of poetic bliss to my ears.
Unfortunately, the food doesn’t quite live up to its name. Let me underline, it is GOOD, but do not expect fireworks in your mouth. This place is perfect for a dinner in the neighborhood, for friends who want to languish over a meal to catch-up without focusing on the food, for bringing your parents if they’re starving and want something hearty.
The restaurant itself is warm and homey; the very feel of it seems to encourage conversation and laughter. I know this probably sounds ridiculous, but the patrons just seemed alive and happy at 10 Downing!
In the summer, it has a large outdoor area that looks perfect for sunning yourself on a lazy Sunday…