So…what a cute idea from Nicole Farhi eh? A nice little place in Chelsea Market that combines a store and a restaurant. Shopping and food combined…what more could I ask for? Well, for starters, some decent food. Brunch at 202 was…a let down. I had such high expectations. It’s a wonderfully cute place and I’ve heard such great things, but perhaps my robust Southern palate was just too much for the bland, flavor-numbed cuisine of 202. As great as everything looks (from the food to the quaint design of the store to all the cute merchandise…) the food just does not deliver on taste. The service isn’t that great either. Be prepared to crane your neck around the room to try and find your server, then get his attention, and then to actually try and get what you need from them. For the food, the cornbread looks enticing but is way too dry and a bit too salty. I think they change out the type of cornbread all the time or daily, i had feta and sun dried tomato. I just guess someone forgot to readjust the recipe to accommodate the already salty ingredients of the day. It still doesn’t explain the crumble-to-dust consistency of the cornbread.
My friend Kate had the tuna burger which was alright, but insanely difficult to eat. The only flavoring really came from the sauce slathered onto the bread which was an interesting flavor, but overall, it wasn’t terrible. What I had been looking forward to was the chicken curry. I wish I hadn’t. The saving grace of this dish was the cranberry chutney…or rather, it was what made the dish someone appealing to eat. Too bad there was just a tiny bit of it to mix in with the insanely bland curry sauce. The only thing that had to do with curry about that sauce was that it was somewhat the same color. Other than that, it was just a bland and watery mixture of tomatoes and onions. The chicken was alright…comparatively…as it wasn’t overcooked…but how can you really fuck up a chicken breast…but again…lack of seasoning made it simply…a chicken breast. And the rice was just…omg…atrocious. I don’t even know what was wrong with it…it just wasn’t very good. So stretching the only thing on that plate as far as I could, I just poured that cranberry chutney over everything. Chicken curry it was not, and good it was not either.
Then the bill comes and you just realize that this place is overcharging for crap food just because it has a cute atmosphere. But again…I’m sure it’s just my personal preference. I like flavor. A part of me feels most of the 202 clientele come for the scene (did I mention the wait was 45 minutes?) and to have some pretty looking food that looks adventurous but is really just the same old boring, bland crap. But hey…isn’t it cute? It’s a restaurant and a store!