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Trestle on Tenth

The Chelsea restaurant Trestle on Tenth opened this summer with a “press juggernaut” behind it, but early reviews were mixed. I was intrigued enough to give it a try, but after a dismal performance, I won’t be back.

Lesson #1: Sometimes, you should just trust Frank Bruni. He described an oxtail and pig’s foot terrine as “gelatinous and unfocused.” I thought it tasted like a slice of supermarket head cheese. It comes with what purports to be housemade mustard, but might as well be Grey Poupon.

Lesson #2: Sometimes, you just can’t trust Frank Bruni. He loved the saddle of lamb, and I must admit it looks terrific, with a generous lobe of fat surrounding the meat.  But my friend’s lamb was cold, and mine was barely lukewarm. We sent them back. They returned at the correct temperature, but the dull gravy was about what you’d expect at a diner—except that a diner would include mashed potatoes and would only charge you $8.95 for it. The greens it came with were inedible. I found my plate had too much salt, while my friend found too little of it.

Another Bruni recommendation was the side dish of gratinéed pizokel, with onions and gruyere. It also came lukewarm, and tasted like cafeteria food. We sent it back too for reheating.

Not everything misfired. My friend liked the salad of butter lettuce, bacon, and buttermilk dressing. The bread service was also good, with a vat of soft butter, though alas no butter knives to spread it with. The wine list has been much praised, and we were pleased with a cabernet franc at around $40.

After all that went wrong, a restaurant serious about service would offer to comp a dessert or an after-dinner drink. Perhaps a manager would come over to apologize? Truthfully, we were eager to get out of there, but it would have been a show of good faith. However, nothing further was said. We paid up and headed out to Room 4 Dessert, and a far more pleaseant experience.

Trestle on Tenth (242 Tenth Avenue at 24th Street, Chelsea)

Food: dismal
Service: mediocre
Ambiance: sue the decorator
Overall: dismal

Reader Comments (2)

The situation at this place has been a folly from the get go.
Its opening was delayed about a year due to DOB violations and when the finally open the go with this ridiculous concept/SMALL menu that they can't pull off.The food is horrible.
The place is only open from 5:30- 11pm Tues.-Sun I believe.What is the Chef/owner doing with all this free time??This place should be at a 2** restaurant.
It is a shame because what a GREAT location and the place has a back garden.I woould love to have this spot.Maybe I will one day because I am sure it will close soon.
October 25, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterchameleonz

OK, it's a year since the last post [almost], and how is Trestle doing?
Sad to say, it's even worse, in terms of service. Tonight [10/18/07], they seemed to have a total kitchen meltdown.
Almost an hour to get our first course, and almost another hour to get our second course -- we watched two other tables just get up and leave.
Granted,it's Thursday night, always busy -- but after a year, can't they get their act together?
The food was actually OK -- carrot soup and quail were both nicely done, and main courses [liver, scallops, and some ersatz coq au vin], were all good.
But the service was beyond abysmal.
In their defense, they agreed first to comp the appetizers, then the mains as well, as everything went south.
What a shame: great location, but it surely won't last, when they can't even coordinate reservations and tables, and servicing the same in a normal fashion. When you have to go through four rounds of bread before you even get appetizers, that's BAD.

Maybe the next establishment that opens at this corner, after Trestle fails, will have their act together better....

October 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterTandG

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