Walking over to the recently opened East Village restaurant called Brindle Room last night, we wondered what the name signified. It couldn’t be after dogs who have that distinctive brown-and-black tiger striped fur called brindle, could it? Actually, that’s exactly what the name refers to–photos of brindle-colored dogs line the wooden walls.
The menu offers six spreads, seven appetizers (or sharable “small plates”) and four mains, plus a few specials. These are mainly simple American plates like roasted beets, roast chicken, baked oysters, chicken fried steak, and chicken liver mousse. Spreads range from $7-$9, small dishes $8-$14, and mains $19-$23.
We tried two spreads, brandade (salt cod and whipped potato) and a smoked trout and white bean, both of which were tasty enough. The brandade came with thick-cut toast that was nicely charred and chewy.
Of the small plates, duck confit poutine was impressive, although you may regret eating it after the fact. It’s a crazy gutbomb even as poutine goes: crisp, skin-on french fries, cheese curds congealing into a huge white mass, a brown gravy that tastes of duck fat, and fat swabs of duck confit blanketing the whole mess. A few bites were fantastic, and after that it’s diminishing returns.
Mains are cooked nicely but a bit dull–a special of seared duck breast and citrus-glazed carrots erred on the side of sweet.
On first impression, I’d save this place for when you’re walking around the neighborhood and just want a nice glass of wine or beer and a snack. It’s very pleasant: a narrow, warm, wooden space, with just a handful of tables and a bar at the far end. The dogs eye you from the walls, wishing they could get their snouts in some duck poutine.
277 East 10th Street