To celebrate the publication of our online encyclopedia entry on animal behavior, and to spend the £100 pounds we were given for writing it, Sasha and I, along with our co-author (and Sasha’s former postdoc) Morgan, made our first visit to Two Ten, a restaurant just down the street from our apartment. I pass Two Ten every night on my walk home from work, and I have often wondered what sort of food it serves and whether it is any good, so this outing—which also served as Morgan’s farewell meal—seemed like the perfect opportunity to explore this venue for the first time.
(Two Ten's subtle exterior)
(Feeling like Alice going down the rabbit hole...)
Two Ten is a tiny little subterranean place that is easy to miss. The owners have done a nice job hanging signs and menus outside the cheerful blue entryway, but there are so many other businesses along the same stretch of road that Two Ten is still a very subtle presence. Given the lovely views that can be seen from many of Falmouth’s restaurants, you might not feel too enticed by an underground restaurant. However, the off-white walls and simple, elegant décor ensure that you do not feel claustrophobic; in fact, the restaurant has an intimate, exclusive sort of atmosphere. This was especially true when we visited, since we were the only diners all evening.
(The simple but elegant decor of Two Ten)
(Another view of the interior)
(Our artistic cutlery layout)
The staff, who appeared to be a husband and wife team, were extremely friendly and attentive; they provided an appealing menu that offered a variety of flavors and styles. Everything about Two Ten was incredibly promising, but ultimately I think we were all a bit disappointed by our meal. We were not served any food that was bad, but it was all a tad bland and needed some extra little thing to make it really special.
I opted for a salad, followed by breaded fish; Morgan had mussels and then duck with a molé sauce; Sasha had a steak. I passed on dessert, but Morgan had chocolate truffles and Sasha had chocolate and marshmallow fondue. My salad was generously sized and did have a dressing—which is often not the case at British restaurants—but it could have used a bit more dressing and needed salt and pepper. My fish was moist and tender, but, again, needed salt and pepper to add some oomph and bring out the flavors of the various ingredients in the breading. Sasha felt that his steak could have been more tender and flavorful, though he acknowledges that he ordered a cut of meat that is not always known for being the juiciest and most decadent part of a cow. Both of us were surprised and disappointed by his dessert, which I had been really tempted by myself. The chocolate fondue tasted fine, but it was accompanied by an inadequate number of store-bought marshmallows; I think we both had expected that they would be homemade, and come in a large enough quantity to use up all of the chocolate provided. Morgan never expressed too many opinions either way, but he is French, and so I suspect that no British food quite lives up to his expectations.
(My breaded fish)
One thing that balanced out the lack of flavors was the comparable lack of expense: We barely spent more than our £100 paycheck even though we ordered a bottle of wine, a bottle of sparkling water, a pot of tea, two appetizers, two desserts, and 3 main courses. In Britain, and especially in a tourist town like Falmouth, it is difficult to get that much food in a restaurant that pleasant, for so little money. In order to make that an even better bargain, I hope the chef adds a little spice to his/her dishes (literally!) so that the cuisine is on par with the service and the aesthetics.
(Sasha's marshmallow and chocolate fondue)