When San Pellegrino anoints its 50 Best Restaurants In The World later in the month, it is a fair bet to assume that 10 Greek Street will not make the list. Good for them: this is one of the new group of places (Duck Soup, The Ten Cases etc.) springing up in Soho and Covent Garden that are not Michelin Star chasers, but want to provide good, honest cooking, in a pleasant atmosphere. And they succeed marvellously.
That they take bookings was always going to make it a plus for me, as it meant that I could be sure that I could meet my companions at a certain time and we would get a seat. Call me old fashioned, but that sort of works best for me.
So a lovely sunny lunchtime found us at a small table, some hunks of bread, some salt and a bottle of peppery olive oil laid out before us. Why do some places assume that you are going to want balsamic vinegar with the oil? I don’t. It ruins the taste of the oil, so top marks to 10GS for not making that mistake.
The menu is chalked on boards around the walls, with a daily changing line up. And what a line up: I could quite happily of had everything on the menu. Instead, we started with some lovely potted crab and an under seasoned steak tartar. Raw steak, with some gherkins, capers and an egg yolk nestling on top, generally needs a little kick of mustard, with perhaps some Worcestershire sauce and some lemon too, to give it some tartness. This had none and, whilst perfectly fine, was not as zingy as it might have been.
Mains picked up where the crab left off and were terrific: a simple old spot chop, nicely cooked, a slick of polenta, some greenery and a nice, crisp piece of crackling. Spaghetti came with dried tuna roe (bottarga), which worked a treat, although maybe we should have tried the silver mullet, a fish that I have never seen on a menu before (or indeed in a fishmonger’s).
The chocolate and pear pecan tart and fine plate of cheese that followed rounded off a really pleasant lunch.
Wines come by the glass, carafe and bottle, and staff will happily recommend pairings for you. If the website is anything to go by, like the food, the wine seems to be ever changing too. Also like the food, the prices for the wines are reasonable. Well, reasonable for this part of town.
Service is friendly, the place a little cramped (why do people think that a bag slung over the shoulder isn’t going to clout somebody sitting down as they walk past?), but overall, a really lovely spot that, like both Duck Soup and The Ten Cases, deserves to do brilliantly well.