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Outer Boroughs Dinner

Dinner for 4 at Downtown Atlantic

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Dinner for 4 at Downtown Atlantic

Joyce Goldstein | Oct 2, 2004 06:30 PM

I had been wanting to get there for some time and the occasion finally arose last night. My husband, two friends and I descended on the restaurant without a reservation. A promised 15-20 minute wait yielded a 40 minute wait till we were seat despite the fact that there were many vacant tables. We we required to wait for a table that was finishing up rather than being given one of the vacant ones.

The room was pleasant, tho loud (and to get louder later), and the bar experience was ok. They had a few nice selections on tap (my husband got Stella Artois), my Gimlet with Tanqueray was pleasant (I was asked if I preferred Rose's or fresh lime), but my companions Cosmo was too sweet and so was the apple martini our 4th ordered (but then what do you expect from an apple martini!)

We all got salad -- a house salad (with a very nice balsamic vinaigrette), a beet salad was easily shared by two and the 4th had her own beet salad. There were complaints that the beets were hard. Two had the potato leek soup and I had the Manhattan clam chowder all of which were pronounced superb. My clam chowder was chewy with clams and redolent with herbs. Yum. My friend and I shared the rib steak (it was so huge that it was an easy share) and our 3rd got the steak to herself. It was perfectly prepared as requested but not the tastiest meat I've had. Overall it was "ok". The mashed potatoes were killers. My husband's penne dish with a lamb ragout (I think) was outstand. Meating and perfectly spiced. Delicious. 3 of us had coffee and I had tea. The coffee (by diehard coffee drinkers) was pronounced strong and tasty. The small chocolate mousse cake was ok, nothing special, the apple/cranberry tart I ordered came cold and even when heated was ordinary, but the chocolate vanilla coconut cupcake was ethereal. Light as air, scrumptious, not too sweet...what a dessert!

The waiter was great...a small elfin quick gentleman with an equally quick smile. The busboys tho were slow when special requests were made like for a fork to eat dessert, an extra spoon to share a soup, butter for bread etc.

I would definitely return...but only on a quieter week night. We were seated beside a very very loud table for 6. It was deafening. And the room itself has so much wood and surface that sound just echoes and reverberate. The positives about the space are that the tables are ample and the chairs comfortable and there is space between the tables.

Now, how can we get New Yorkers to turn down the decibels a little?

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