Fresh off of dinner at this brand new spot in Williamsburg, and I am full. Also maybe a little bit thirsty.
If I had to boil it down to a few takeaways, I’d say this: good food, great vibes, a little salty. And that’s what I meant by thirsty.
Here’s something though – and maybe I’m alone in this – but salty doesn’t translate to “bad”. It’s probably one of the easiest fixes in the kitchen, and I’d rather my food be a little salty than a lot bland. It also wasn’t every dish, but a few of the mains struck me as such. But let’s move on.
Ten Hope is brought to you by Harold Dieterle, the Top Chef Season 1 winner and owner of the late Perilla and Kin Shop in Manhattan. Man, I loved Perilla. The Duck Burger? Heaven. Needless to say, I know this place has good roots with him behind it, so I was very curious to try.
The bread and assorted dips were a great start; the generous sprinkling of za’atar on the bread gave it a delicious texture, crumbly and crisp on the tongue. There are four dips to choose from, and obviously we tried them all. My favorites would be the whipped feta and the “broccoflower” which is, you guessed it, broccoli and cauliflower mashed up with garlic, lemon, and anchovy.
Enter: the salt. Lamb Ribs and Crispy Octopus. I’d like to point out that these were the first lamb ribs I ever actually enjoyed. I find lamb ribs to be a little fatty and gelatinous, but the way Ten Hope fries these makes them crispy as ever, while also making them slide off the bone. Great work on these.
The Crispy Octopus was cooked really well but also a touch salty. I’m not positive but I think it was fried. The chorizo and wax beans that it came with were nice; the wax beans added a briny and crisp bite, but the chorizo didn’t help the salt factor. I think taking out the chorizo would be a good move. And believe me, I am never one to say “please remove the sausage from this dish to make it better”, you know what I mean?
Speaking of removing meat from my presence, I am so sad to report that I couldn’t eat the steak at Ten Hope. BUT WAIT. It’s purely a preference thing. It was actually cooked perfectly – a bright pink medium rare – but each slice was carrying a thick coating of salsa verde, heavy on the cilantro.
Let me explain. I am one of those people who is genetically predisposed to hate cilantro – it tastes like soap to me. I’m not kidding, Google it. Imagine taking a bite of a glorious, tender piece of meat, only to feel like you’re chewing on a bar of Irish Spring. It’s so off-putting. That said, my date (another food blogger), said it was very good!
To wrap up the night, we were given a big piece of pumpkin seed brittle for dessert and had to break it with a little wooden mallet (fun)! And of course, I hit it so hard it flew off the table and hit the people next to us. Between the blaring light from my camera and this…so much for keeping a low profile.
Ten Hope also has a really nice outdoor space and cocktail selection, so if you’re looking for a place to grab drinks with friends over a few light bites (or dips), this is a solid bet. I’m going to link to a post from Greenpointers here, which has much better photos of the outdoor space than I do.
10 Hope Street
Website: Ten Hope BK