What is eggs Benedict?
The downtown yuppie brasserie of the 1980s has weathered the 1990s well, spawning many other restaurants but keeping its own clientele. Odeon draws both Tribeca families and the trendy, if that's not redundant. A child may get a balloon, and crayons for drawing on the paper tablecloths. If she decides to cry, well, you won't notice it. Odeon is noisy, with a happy buzz filling its big, dim room.
On my review visit, a pale $6 mimosa was cold and fizzy but flavorless - too much mediocre champagne, too little pulpy, fresh juice. A $5.50 bloody Mary was poorly mixed, with too-peppery spices floating at the top of the glass and bland, sticky tomato juice at the bottom. Each came promptly on request, as did coffee, which was piping hot. You won't have to wait for refills of water. Each table gets its own carafe with ice. Water should always be served in quantity. I used to date an athlete who guzzled liters of it. Flagging down water-bearers for her was no fun.
The $9.50 eggs Benedict, served with a bunch of arugula, had delicious hollandaise with extra lemon juice. But the eggs were hard, overpoached. One half of the English muffin was a bit burned, the other was undertoasted, and the surfaces of both were so dense and smooth as to have been sliced while the bread was frozen. A muffin should soak up egg. The Canadian bacon was flavorless, a pink rubbery insert.
Odeon eggs Benedict, incredibly, does not include home fries. Those are $4.50 extra, and while the serving is generous it is bland, with only onion for flavor, no peppers or spices. A side order of bacon ($4.50) was hot and plentiful, but for that price I hope for bacon that's leaner, or uniquely tangled like that of Cupping Room Café.
Service was friendly when it was available, but later marred the meal. I got a plate to eat my bread on, but no bread came with it till finally requested. For dessert I ordered crème brûlée, but I waited so long that I thought they were making a souffle from scratch. Finally I just asked for the check. I waited ages not just for its arrival, but for its return after I rejected it for the inclusion of a nonexistent Coke. I hadn't had a Coke in weeks, and felt as though my waiter hadn't paid attention to me in weeks, either.
Cupping Room Café
Knickerbocker Bar and Grill
Corn Bread Café
Park Slope Brewing Co.
12th Street Bar and Grill