This place is miles and miles and miles away from anything even remotely New York when it comes to the food. After reading Guy Diamond’s review on the place in Time Out, I thought that it was a dining experience I couldn’t/shouldn’t miss….although now I wish I had.
The concept is just like Barrafina (Frith Street), where people queue up in a hot, loud, stuffy room, waiting and anticipating for the moment to come where they can sit on a bar stool, in that same stuffy and loud room…only this time with the promise of an “unforgettable” culinary experience.
I kept busy with my 12 year-old Elijah Craig (bourbon) while I read the menu that promised so much….oh so much.
To make a long story short, I’ll get to the point. The order :
1. Ground Beef & Bone Marrow Slider. The brioche that held the all-too-simple, warm and uninspiring mini patty was cold and stale. There was nothing about that burger that would remind you of New York…or any burger in the whole of the USA. Verdict – you can’t get a good burger in London.
2. Salt beef & Pickles Slider – The salt beef itself was OK… but then came that horrible stale brioche again, only now it was smothered in a VERY overpowering Colman’s Mustard that burned all the way into your nasal cavity as you chewed, and swallowed.
3. Eggplant Chips – They weren’t chips. Eggplant is an amazing vegetable, that the chef somehow managed to butcher by overcooking it, and giving it the shape of mozzarella sticks that you can find on any Friday’s style “Big Share” Platter
4. Greens – ?!?!?! Vegetables of some sort that could not be told apart because they were smothered in a fishy anchovy vinaigrette….. why?!
5. Chopped salad – Crispy vegetables (Thank God for that…) that were once again coated in an overpowering vinaigrette with more of that overpowering Colman’s mustard. It was impossible to taste any of the vegetables…all I could taste was the mustard.
6. Mac & Cheese – I have to say that this was the only good thing we ate….but how hard is it to make Mac & Cheese? Every mother in the US makes it for her kids. Mac & Cheese even comes in a box at the supermarket where there are aisles dedicated to the cheesy concoction. Should I applaud a restaurant that charges 8 pounds for a portion of pasta + cheese + breadcrumbs that I can make at home?!
We didn’t dare order more. I finished my Makers Mark (bourbon), paid the bill and went on my way, deciding that it really didn’t matter how cool, or hip, or speakeasy-ish the place was, I just wouldn’t ever go back because the food just wasn’t up to par. Nothing to do with the amazing food you can get in New York.
Spuntino – 61 Rupert Street W1D 7PW, London