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NYC

Review

Clemens Kois

10 Corso Como

Written by
Clemens Kois

On a recent trip to 10 Corso Como in the Seaport, we saw a $350 bar of soap, a designer headstone that says “The End,” and a blue crocodile handbag on display. This luxury retail store is gaudy, excessive, and makes for prime window shopping, kind of like the house on the block that takes Christmas decorations way too seriously, or Soho. The restaurant that’s attached to the retail space is also a spectacle, but there’s no food equivalent of window shopping. So the amusement you feel when you realize that the bar of soap is actually a three-foot-tall synthetic design piece doesn’t carry over. Instead, you’ll end up overpaying for forgettable food.

The dining portion of this all-in-one store, gallery, and restaurant, which is based in Milan and has a few other locations around the world, looks like a cruise ship cafeteria straight out of a Hunter S. Thompson acid trip. The multi-room space has black leather booths, curtains that twinkle like tiaras, and hanging lights that make you feel like a scuba diver looking up at a school of jellyfish. The layout is tacky but amusing, especially because the Balenciaga-sneaker-comes-to-life aesthetic is accompanied by some great people watching. Take it all in, and maybe even drink a negroni at an outdoor table overlooking the cobblestone streets of the Seaport, but don’t come here to eat.

Clemens Kois

The straightforward Italian menu at 10 Corso Como has five appetizers, pastas, and entrees, but no matter how you order, you’re going to leave feeling like you would’ve been better off spending that money on that designer headstone, or at countless other Italian spots downtown. There are beef meatballs topped with cheese and served in a deep pool of tomato sauce, which sounds about as likely to succeed as Blue Ivy, but the meatballs taste like fatty bites of burger meat, the tomato sauce isn’t acidic or salty enough, and the mozzarella disappears after a couple bites. With the exception of the cacio e pepe - the best dish here - things don’t improve when you move onto the pastas. The overcooked linguini is served with sandy clams, and the risotto includes a watery cheese sauce that somehow tastes more like soap than saffron.

Like the appetizers and pastas, the entrees have so little flavor that it seems purposeful. The only difference is that these large plates are two to three times more expensive. The $37 swordfish only tastes like blackened char from the grill, and even the capers and tomatoes - two ingredients that are usually polarizing for being too strong - contribute as much as an unprepared introvert at book club. You get 18 ounces of steak in the $59 tagliata, but it’s offensively mild, and for about the same price, you could have bought Salvador Dali’s surrealist cookbook in the retail space next door.

Somewhere between Dali’s cookbook in the back corner and the giant bar of soap up front, you might find something you’re happy to spend money on at 10 Corso Como. It just won’t be in the restaurant.

Food Rundown

Meatballs

Dipping bread in a bowl of tomato sauce is usually right up there with singing in the shower and leaving work for the day. At 10 Corso Como, though, the under-seasoned red sauce barely adds any flavor to the already under-seasoned focaccia.

Pasta Alle Vongole

The linguine itself is overcooked, and the only discernible flavor comes from the garlic. It’s served with a bunch of clams, but they have so little brine, that you’d think they were raised in a bathtub - if it weren’t for all the sand inside each one.

Cavatelli

This pasta with broccoli pesto tastes like it’s been made for someone who has an aversion to broccoli and pesto.

Cacio e Pepe

The cacio e pepe is by far the best dish here. Granted, that’s kind of like being the most aggressive driver in a retirement community, but the thick, firm bigoli noodles are tossed with a lot of black pepper and cheese, and if you find yourself here for lunch or dinner, order this.

Risotto

If this risotto lived in the same retirement community as the cacio e pepe, it’d be the one that keeps running its golf cart into the koi pond. The thin, watery sauce has very little cheese, and the only flavor keeping it from tasting like wet white rice is one that comes across as soapy.

Grilled Swordfish

None of the entrees here leave you with the feeling of money well spent, but this is the only one you’ll push away after a few bites. The $37 slab of swordfish has all of its flavor grilled out of it, and it doesn’t pick up any others from the soggy potatoes or vaguely acidic juice.

Tagliata

This big platter of steak and potatoes is another example of where this place seems to go out of its way to make dishes aggressively mild. You’ll want to ask for salt and pepper shakers, which isn’t ideal for a $59 cut of ribeye.

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