THE GREENWICH PROJECT
47 West Eighth Street (between 6th and 5th Avenues)
Forgotten Table Countdown: Drinks at 8 minutes, apps at 15 minutes, mains at 25 minutes, check at 44 minutes. Killin' it on timeliness, Greenwich Project!
Bathroom sitch: Forgot to check. Forgive us.
Diet Coke sitch: Tumbler with fancy ice cubes + 8 oz. glass bottles
Tony's overall rating: 3 out of 5 fancy hats
Titi's overall rating: 2.5 out of 5 piggies
What to Wear: Your best combo of impossibly luxurious and just-woke-up breezy – a Brunello Cuccinelli cashmere wrap with riding boots and a slouchy beanie. Prepare to have five women match you exactly.
Come Here If: You like seeing well-behaved kids in really cute Little Lord Fauntleroy brunch outfits. There were plenty of them.
I walk by The Greenwich Project daily on my way home from work. I've been intrigued by the place since they opened – it looks clean and inviting, with thoughtfully curated knickknacks and glass railroad tile on the walls. It's a pretty typical white-washed modernist NYC aesthetic – one I, fortunately, happen to like. Each day as I slog past it on my way home, I think "one day I gotta come to this place."
If you know me, you won't be surprised that it took just about 134 'one day I gotta come to this places' before I actually came to this place, and it was only because it was a few blocks away from Reiss whose new Spring collection I wanted to see after brunch. We were seated almost immediately (bonus points!). Here is my first complaint… We typically get put in shitty locations (because Forgotten Table), and today was no exception – we were seated at the second two-top from the front door. I should mention that there is no alley, no wind foyer to speak of – and every time a party would walk in, which happened about every three minutes or so, a strong gust of wind would envelop us. Now, on a breezy summer day this would be a lovely thing, but when you're brunching in the middle of a polar shitstorm this results in a bone-permeating body freeze that's impossible to shake. But let's move on.
Our waitress, a quirky blonde with ironic glasses and a haphazardly buttoned shirt, was so energetic and talkative that we immediately assumed she was on coke. She was sweet and quick to take our order. The rest of the staff, however, appears to have been hired the day before; general disarray, scrambling, spills, and fumbled apologies were plentiful. However, we got our (albeit swapped) beverages quickly and with a cup of good hot coffee in hand, I was content enough to give this place a chance to not suck. On to the food!
App: Beef Tartare with Toast Points. It was European-style (chopped not ground) which I guess is the right way to do it, but always gives the inalienable sensation that you are, in fact, eating raw animal. Food Outrage #1: Tony loves capers to the point of spooning them out of a jar directly into his mouth, so he was pretty blasphemed to learn that these guys had replaced them with spring onions in their recipe. To boot, it was almost completely unseasoned, and therefore devoid of much flavor. (Editor's note: we asked for salt and pepper to help the situation – it never made it to the table.) Food Outrage #2: Although the portion of meat was generous, we got four pithy little baguette rounds to scoop it all up with and had to ask for more bread. Overall, it was fine but as far as tartares go, pretty whatever.
Mains: Truffled Egg Salad with Toast Points + Croque Madame. I love anything with a generous helping of my favorite condiment, mayo, in it – so egg salad is always boner inducing to me. This one didn't disappoint; it was creamy, tangy, and laced with truffle flavor. Food Outrage #3: Again, a very generous portion arrived with two shitty little pieces of toasted bread. What the fuck? We got our second helping of bread at this point, but once again it was very small. The conclusion is that these people have a malevolent bread Nazi in the back who rations the stuff out like it's wartime. Food Outrage #4: The Croque, which came in two pieces, had the egg outside of the sandwich, sunny side-up style, unceremoniously plopped on top of only one of the halves. I guess this is pretty whatever, but that left us food-sharers battling on the plate for sweet runny egg yolk. That said, upon biting into the sandwich I discovered a fat, rind-rich, buttery slab of Brie melting up a storm. Brie in a croque = great call. Well played, Greenwich Project!
Sweets: There are no desserts. There are sweet brunch entrees that you can substitute with. Our buzzy waitress suggested the Cinnamon Sugar Beignets (which I can't have because I'm allergic to cinnamon) or the House Made Baked Goods (which, at our neighbors' table, looked like a microwaved plate of Costco mini muffins). We decided to walk out without, which in my mind's eye is criminal.
TONY SAYS: "Functionally chaotic. Good egg salad."