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Week in Reviews: Trestle on Tenth

[Kalina, 8/2/06.]

1) This week, for mostly pointless reasons Frank Bruni, Adam Platt, and Paul Adams all, separately, reviewed the new Swiss restaurant in Chelsea, Trestle on Tenth. While two of the reviewers more-or-less reached a consensus that the venue is a decent one star option for those who live in close proximity (and therefore far from a venue worthy of reviewing), the other critic was rather taken with the place. See if you can spot the rogue critic in a little game called "Bruni said, Platt said, Adams said."

Bruni said: Trestle on Tenth is the kind of restaurant at which, no matter what you ate, you feel as if you had brisket.

Platt said: Kuettel spent time working at Union Square Cafe, so he’s fairly adept at bringing out the essential goodness of these hearty ingredients. When he tries his hand at lighter recipes, however, things tend to go awry. Except for the arctic char, which requires no cooking at all, I never had a decent seafood dish on any of my visits to Trestle on Tenth.

Adams said: At Trestle on Tenth, chef-owner Ralf Kuettel uses fine fresh ingredients and a light touch to invigorate sturdy old country cooking with a New York aesthetic.

Bruni said: But what’s most striking about it is the force with which it hits rebelliously hearty notes. It seems to anticipate winter long before the first frost, and it challenges vain, health-conscious New Yorkers to wade into the starchy and dive headlong into the flabby.

Platt said: If this kind of robust grub sounds a little heavy for this time of year, that’s because it is.

Adams said: Mr. Kuettel clearly knows his way around an animal, but all of the cooking has a delicate flair.

The fun continues just ahead.

Bruni Said: There was a side dish of dumplings called pizokel, pleasantly thickened with Gruyère.

Platt said: And it’s his particular brand of earthy, down-home cooking on the menu, like “pizokle” (small, gnocchi-like dumplings) drizzled with melted Gruyère,...

Adams said: Pizokel (a $6 side dish) is the last and best of the traditional treats. Spaetzle-like worms of doughy dumpling are browned and gratinéed, with a light ooze of melted Gruyere and plenty of buttery cooked onions.

Bruni said: Diners who live more than a dozen blocks away can probably find these sorts of exposed brick walls, wide-plank wood floors and even a back garden like Trestle’s closer to home.

Platt said: In the manner of other homegrown gourmet outposts around town, the restaurant occupies a utilitarian, brick-walled space, with a snug, boxy bar in the front of the room and a small garden out back, where you can dine under the shade of ­cherry and locust trees.

Adams said: The restaurant's back garden is comfortable, but, as the days shorten, I'm already looking forward to returning to Trestle on Tenth in the winter. I suspect it'll be just the spot for a hearty, cozy meal and a warming drink.

Good times, no? [NYT, NYM, NY Sun]

2) In less absurd news, Alan Richman examines The Mall's food court, from Masa to lunch at Per Se. Re the latter:

Wine service continued to be abysmal. The sommelier's long description of a white wine didn't sound quite right, so I asked him if he'd tasted it. He said he had not. I asked his opinion of a couple of $70-and-under Australian reds I was considering for my second wine. He suggested a $205 Australian pinot noir instead. The only appropriate response to that would have been to beat him to death.
Though violent, there is something to be said for that approach, surely. [Bloomberg]

Elsewhere, Meehan at Masala Bollywood, Hodgson at Japonais, Tables for Two at Chinatown Brasserie, $20 a Day at The Conde Nast cafeteria, and Strong at Boqueria.

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