I recently went to the new restaurant 10 Downing Street in Greenwich Village @ 10 Downing (duh) off 6th Avenue for a late night dinner with friends after visiting another new place City Winery. I liked the atmosphere of the place: a cozy candlelit dining room with big windows looking out on the street, filled with very cool artwork all over the walls (including a black and white head shot photo series lined up along a beam near the ceiling). Even at 11PM the service was good, unfussy but attentive. We were a bit tipsy (understatement) from the wine we had earlier and probably a bit on the loud side, but they were still very nice to us (kudos to our waiter who put up with our drunken asses).
The food has been hyped in the media a lot since this place opened (Adam Platt's Where to Eat 2009, Gael Greene's positive review, a crush of foodie blogs' buzz & love) and I thought most everything lived up to the hype but others could use a bit of tweaking in the coming months to make them really good dishes. The starters we got were all great: a roasted baby beets salad with grapefruit, blue cheese and beet green vinaigrette and roasted brussel sprouts dish that had anchovy vinaigrette, soft boiled egg and parmesan.
The main courses were a bit more inconsistent: homemade Potato Gnocchi with braised porcini, butternut squash and sardinian sheep's cheese sounds great on paper, but was rubbery and cold when we got it. Bison Hanger Steak with papas bravas, romesco grilled leeks and salsa verde and the duck breast special were solid. The squid ink agnolotti with peekytoe crab, dill, tomato confit & lemon butter tasted a bit too crabby (see all photos below).
All in all, a solid meal and might be even better if given a bit more time. I don't know what the British Prime Minister eats while at home, but I bet it's not as tasty as this namesake restaurant in Manhattan! Check it out!