My friend wanted to check out Double Crown. We were going to go for lunch and showed up in an empty restaurant with someone taking reservations at the desk. Lunch was not happening but decided we should return for dinner. I had heard mixed reviews from friends ( who I completely trust when it comes to food ) that I wouldn't love it but it was okay. So I went with absolutely zero expectations.
You can't help but be blown away what has happened around the area of the corner of Bleeker and Bowery. NYU has spread into the area as well as and new buildings. There are now more restaurants, stores and even a place to get your hair cut. Gentrification for sure, but I do hope that landmarks doesn't let anyone change the wonderful facades of the buildings. Although everything behind the door has changed, can we keep some history?
Back to Double Crown. Large restaurant. Food and bar on top but if you happen to go to the bathroom, note that an entire different singles scene is going on downstairs at a hidden bar. Pretty funny actually. It was if I had left the restaurant and gone somewhere else during dinner.
The food is a bit all over the place. Trying to appeal to the masses and be a bit trendy ( which it is ) but that is not to say the food is bad. Some of it was actually quite tasty. In general, I am not a big lover ot the latest and greatest restaurants for the trend seekers in NYC. I do prefer the more intimate, without getting thrashed here, hipper sophisticated places. I would not put Double Crown in that category.
We split everything. We also drank a lot. First course was a julienned endive and Stilton salad mixed with pomegranate seeds, pecans and a lemon dressing. A bit cheesey and not that refreshing. The smoked mackerel salad was also served julienned (not sure the purpose of that in all salads)but it was pretty good. The mixture of the smoked fish with the sliced green apples and lime dressing really worked. Hamachi sashimi was part of our first round too. A few pieces of raw fish piled under a light dressing and some sesame seeds. Ok, nothing to write home about. Everyone feels a need to put something crudo on their menu these days. There were 2 dishes on the first round which were really good. The crispy brussel sprouts were some of the best I have ever had. A large bowl, almost charred, crispy and savory, not sweet which is sometimes hard to accomplish when they caramelize. Delicious. I would have put in another order for these. The other was the Miso-Glazed Bone Marrow. Certain to send your cholesterol up another 20 points but this was really delicious. A big bone, sliced in half, roasted with a miso glaze over the top of the bone marrow. 2 pieces of toasted challah were served on the side with a orange marmalade. Honestly sublime.
Next round. We are now on our second bottle of wine, and each had a cocktail to begin too. We went with the meat dishes. Supposedly Double Crown is English although you really can't see that from the majority of the menu but they do serve Bangers and Mash so we felt obliged. 2 sausages with a mash of of what I'm not sure and a beet relish. Interesting pub food. We also split the braised pork belly which is on every menu in NYC these days. It was good, well prepared. A large square piece of pork belly that had been braised with a grilled scallop on top with a black bean dressing and cilantro over the top. Different Asian slant. We had a side order of pickled cucumbers with yogurt sauce which was weird. Sliced cucumbers swimming in a yogurt mixture. Not thought through. The last dish was the super sized braised beef rib which was quite good. Braised in beer laying over sliced brussel sprouts and a few parsnip fries. Meat was almost falling off the bone with plenty of flavor. As a whole I think beef ribs sound better than they ever really taste. Loads of fat. They did a good job with the beef rib.
We decided that having a few dessert drinks and dessert was necessary. God knows why. I do remember we did something chocolate and honestly, even as I look at the menu today I can't remember the other thing we had. Obviously not memorable.
Had a really fun time. Paid for it on Saturday but am back in action today. Double Crown is not my type of place but the food was all and all not bad. I was pleasantly surprised. By the way, they were packed.