>> 10/4/10

121 West 10th Street
New York, NY 10011
(212) 645-0018

You may recall that Speeds and I tried once before to eat at Kingswood, but were thwarted by a super-long wait. Alas, Friday night was mayhaps a strategically unsound time to choose a place as popular as Kingswood at the last minute. An hour and fifteen minute wait pushed us across the street to Grano Trattoria. Undaunted, we returned midweek. They were virtually deserted this time and we were able to grab a table with no problem, finally able to sit back and enjoy what would be the most singularly disappointing meal I've eaten this year.

Kingswood's massive space is very well laid out. The atmosphere is virtually bar-none. It's both relaxed and upscale. It's a place you can hit with the brohams or go on a date. The service was flawless. So I can absolutely see the appeal. Come with friends, feel cool, dress sexy, order something to snack on, have the bartender shake you up something good, and chill. I get it. But for actual food, the stuff you spend good money on (average appetizer price $13; average entree price $25), Kingswood ain't where you wanna be.

Like I said, the meals here ain't cheap. Speeds, not extremely hungry anyway, decided to order two appetizers instead having an entree. The first to arrive was the Char-Grilled Octopus, served in a tomato sauce with "wild rocket", a fancy way of saying arugula. This wasn't bad, but it wasn't great either. Char-grilled octopus is usually something I'd always recommend someone order, but it simply shouldn't be buried in tomato sauce. My appetizer, the Pork Fritters, arrived with Speeds' octopus. It came served with slices of granny smith apple, watercress, candied hazelnuts and with a drizzle of a soy caramel sauce. It was good, but a bit greasy. It was deep fried, after all. Still, I enjoyed them, recommend them and can say without hesitations that this was the best dish of the night.

Speeds' second appetizer arrived at the same time that my dinner did. And actually, it was large enough to be an entree in and of itself. She ordered the Prince Edwards Island Mussels served in a lemongrass green curry sauce. Bland is the best way to describe it. Dumbed down curry over mussels. It didn't stand out as any better than the other mussel-curries I've had and I'll always wonder if mussels and curry ever really "work" together. So far, they've never done better than passable. My dinner was the House Cured Pork Belly. It was supposed to be served over an apple puree with mushrooms and brussel sprouts, but the puree tasted exactly like mashed potatoes and I couldn't see the brussel sprouts unless they were the shredded veggies you see there that tasted like sauerkraut. Top this all off with a balsamic reduction sauce and literally no flavor worked in concert with any others. I gave Speeds a taste. "This tastes like a recipe of mine gone wrong" she said. It wasn't helped by the fact that the pork was overcooked and dried out. If you want some good pork belly, go south a few blocks to Salt. The final nail in the coffin of our dining experience at Kingswood with their Mac and Cheese side dish. It was baked, with a little breadcrumb crust, and was so greasy that Speeds refused to eat more than one bite. Simply put, they must either use very cheap cheese or grease the bottom of the baking dish too far heavily. I dug a little hole through the mac and cheese to the bottom of the bowl and it soon filled up with about a half inch of oil. Draining this helped me a little but nauseated Speeds.

This had been enough of disappointing dining experience, food-wise, that we skipped dessert. Our expectations were so low by this point that we figured that it would be silly to continue spending money.

"Next time we go to bad restaurants," Speeds said while signing a credit card receipt for her half of the meal, "I think you should pay for my food."
"Hey, you chose this place. So I guess you owe me."
A little silence, and then... "Shit."

Three appetizers, one entree and one side dish, plus tax and tip but without any drinks came to $92.

Kingswood on Urbanspoon


Wayno2424,  October 5, 2010 at 11:58 AM  

That is a surprising review. I only read good things about it but will make sure i steer clear

Anonymous,  October 6, 2010 at 4:09 PM  

I ate there Friday night as well and my date and I got sick. We were both up all night with all types of fun. I know that can happen sometimes but I have to say that the food even when it is on its game is really average at best. We like the bar scene and its a cool hang-out but I wouldn't recommend for serious diners just people who like to people watch and eat in a noisy environment.

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