Dos Caminos 3rd Avenue - Basement Dining Room Looks Llike Olive Garden
Went to Dos Caminos on 3rd last night. I like the one on Park and this one is closer to where I live. I was also enticed by a 20% off offer for their opening. The food was fine, although as expected, not as good as yet as their others. Guacamole made out of sight of table was really bland and had to be remade. Overall food wasn't too bad and acceptable, especially for a new restauarant. However, the one thing I could not understand was the decor. Park Ave. location is highly and appropriately designed. Although there is a 1st floor dining area on 3rd that looked nicely designed, most of the rstaurant is actually in the basement and has no decor whatsoever. I mean it actually looks like they ran out of money and told the architect to stop. Bare walls and ceilings, nothing interesting. Especially when you are going to have a dining room in an uninteresting basement with no windows, surely you should compensate with clever and interesting design. I actaully felt like I could have been in any chain restauarant in America - Olive Garden comes to mind. Did david Rockwell actually design this location? Maybe Steve Hanson said people will come no matter what - why spend more money on design? He may be right, but I will never go back to this location. Of course, I am sure they won't miss me.
I just stopped in for a drink last night, and I couldn't agree more. I left thiking "I guess they don't care anyomore". Frankly, I think the only redeeming value of the Park Ave location is it's design, especially the bathrooms. The bathrooms at 3rd ave are no more interesting then public restrooms and the dining room is indeed remincent of an Olive Garden. I would suggest Pampano, or even Mama Mexico (which has sort-of a kitchy charm) over this cookie-cutter.