Considering there's very little ground left un-Infatuated in the East Village, we were quite intrigued by a recent flurry of recommendations coming in on behalf of Brindle Room. Our people must be smoking the good mongo because there's no way sane people like this place. The dinner we had here recently was one of the more unimpressive meals we've had in recent memory. It was downright painful and took f-o-r-e-v-e-r. You remember the feeling of being in class when that was the last place in the world you wanted to be? Where minutes felt like hours and the uncomfortable knot in your chest kept getting worse? Right, that's how the two hours we spent at Brindle Room felt. The food, which sucked, took eons to get to us and when we were finally ready to make our getaway, our credit cards were hijacked. Tack on an extra 15 minutes as a going away present. Thanks for nothing Brindle Room.
Not much makes much sense at Brindle Room. They try and jam as many seats as possible into this skinny, awkward space and they do it with uncomfortable elevated seating. There are tiny bar spaces up front and along the wall, which barely have enough table space to fit a drink, let alone a plate of food. Not surprisingly, there wasn't a single human wedged into any of these spots. From the outside, it looks like an inviting space, but inside it's the complete opposite. The decor is anti-cozy, and the dark brown color scheme looks cheap and boring. But the food is what really got me. As you'll soon read, most of it was completely inedible. If it wasn't for a very delicious burger, which I went back a second time to try, this could have been one of the lowest ratings ever. While it's still getting tagged as Perfect For [perfect_for slug ="wasting-your-time-and-money"]Wasting Your Time and Money[/perfect_for], two full burger points put Brindle Room's rating safely in the fours.
The bottom line is that this restaurant is amateur hour at its finest. From the service, to the execution and everything in-between. We're really not that hard to please, but Brindle Room failed on multiple levels. Aside from great food, the most important part of a restaurants existence is careful attention to detail. Apparently Brindle Room didn't get the memo.
Unfortunately for Brindle Room, we still have the insanely delicious tartare from Post Office fresh on our minds. This tartare wasn't terrible, but it's nowhere near amazing.
Uy. We love us some baked oysters, but these were a mess. A soupy mixture of creamy leeks impossibly drowned one of the biggest oysters I've ever seen. We couldn't even finish.
If mussels are going to be one of the main attractions on your menu, which they are here at Brindle Room, there are a couple of logical things that should also come with them. One being bread, obviously. If you're serving a big pot of mussels in a spicy broth without bread, that's just poor attention to detail. Would you serve a burger without fries? Negative. Also, shellfish forks. The only forks they had were giant ones, which made in next to impossible to free the little mussels with a utensil. We were forced to use our hands, or another empty mussel shell.
If you're putting fried chicken on a menu in NYC, you best not just be tossing a couple pieces of bird in the fryer and serving it on a plate with mash. Don't be fooled by the huge portion, there's nothing to see here.
Apparently the chef was concentrating way too hard on making sure the skin on the salmon was perfectly crispy, because he forgot to cook the rest of the fish through. Rare is not how salmon should be served in a restaurant unless otherwise noted. While the fish was awful, the red quinoa and Israeli couscous it was served over was excellent. More of that please.
Rare, excessively thick slices of duck breast a top of cumin flavored kale and carrots. Vomit. We left this entire dish on the table. It was comically terrible.
Ending on a high note. The burger is damn good, as are the thick cut fries. It's a slightly greasy griddle burger the size of a hockey puck, cooked perfectly medium rare with a soft toasted potato bun, cheese and sautéed onions. If I didn't feel so bad about how this review went, I'd order it for delivery on the regular.