As we’ve discussed before, Downtown Crossing is a bit of a no-man’s-land for the culinarily inclined. Thus, the opening of a promising new restaurant is truly something to celebrate. It seems safe to say that few miss Peking Tom’s, which used to occupy 25 Kingston Street, the location of the new bistro Kingston Station, but is Kingston Station a welcome addition in its own right? Let’s see what the people are saying.
The Good: The overall buzz on Kingston Station seems to be fairly positive. Chowhounder finlero seemed to nicely sum up the prevailing mood: “The big surprise was the French bistro vibe: white tile floors, zinc bar, white cloth napkins with blue threads, etc. Less surprising (after reading other posts here), but no less pleasing, was the terrific food.” Fellow ‘hounder btkid concurs: “Eerything we had was great. Started with scallops over risotto which was incredible…the two went great together and the scallops had a nice soft texture. I had the organic chicken and my girlfriend had the papperdelle pasta…the chicken was a nice portion cooked just right and the pappardelle was simple but delicious. I also did a side order of the frites…a must order at this place in my opinion!”
The Bad: “The bad” in this case seems to be a bit of a misnomer. “The mediocre” seems to be a more accurate term. Chowhound’s harko97 admits to nitpicking, but notes that the chocolate souffle was “good, not the best” and that although s/he asked for the steak medium, it came out medium well. limster also had a few words about the souffle: “Quibble: it shouldn’t be called a souffle since it really didn’t rise and the texture isn’t exactly right for a souffle.” In slightly more serious criticism, a few service issues have been noted. Yelper Nicole M. took exception to one member of the waitstaff: “I know they just opened, but they’ve got to do better on training waitstaff. a) when a couple is dining and the male party gestures to the female party to order, teach your waiter to actually take the woman’s order first, rather than saying, what would you like sir? Twice. b) When there are no more than three tables and we order another Guiness and I can see that it’s been on the bar for a good ten minutes, go get the damn thing and bring it over! c) a smile goes a long way. Try it.” Chowhounder weston also had a complaint: “the waiting for food was an hour! There were about 4-5 times that someone stopped by to assure the food was on the way. It was a nice lunch but not a good experience. The manager was courteous and didn’t charge us for the lunch entries. It could be a good place if you’re not under any time constraint.”
The Decor: By far, the most contentious issue among Kingston Station customers seems to be the decor. While faelin at Citysearch enjoyed the space, which s/he said was “almost like being in a fancy, old fashion train station with beautiful tiling,” weston was “not crazy about the deco. Tiles on the wall and floor, and it has the feel of a big old bathroom from an art deco building of the 30’s. The worst part is that the tiles echo a lot, so the front area has this constant white noise from superpositions of the echos.” harko97 concurred: “The idea for the deocr is a train station. The bar is covered in tile and has train station theme decorations. I give them an A for effort however, it was too loud. Sound bounces off of tile and did it. The tables were also too close together. At one point I had to ask my friend if I was taking up too much room becuase they tried to sit people behind us and they could not get it.”
[Photo: Destination: Freedom]