I recently had brunch at two very nice spots on the Upper West Side, an area of the city where I usually do not spend much time.
One is Machiavelli on Columbus & 85th. A gorgeous restaurant with lush decor, the menu is decidedly Italian, including brunch with dishes like polenta with parmesan and truffle oil, nutella crepes, and lemon and ricotta pancakes. I had the frittata salsiccia with Italian sausage, goat cheese, spinach and tomato. It was wonderful.
Another spot is Ella Kitchen & Bar on Columbus & 72nd. Here, the brunch consists of appetizing Latin & Mediterranean variations of classic dishes like baked eggs with Argentine sausage; eggs Benedict with grass-fed skirt steak and sauteed spinach; or avocado toast with edamame, black sesame seed, scallions, radishes, and hard-boiled egg. I got the classic baked eggs with heavy cream and parmesan.
After a brief hiatus, the brunch/dinner club is back. Recently, we had brunch at Cookshop. We’ve got dinner planned this week at The Marrow, and a Cinco de Mayo brunch at Toloache. If you’re interested in coming to those or future events, let me know!
My brunch club visited Cookshop in Chelsea this past weekend. Cookshop is a popular, bright, bustling spot. The staff is super friendly, and the vibe is relaxed even though the dining room is full.
I’m not a big fan of alcoholic drinks with my brunch, and Cookshop has a nice selection of non-alcoholic drinks. We got the ginger lemonade and the lime-jalapeno soda. The refreshing and pretty ginger-lemonade has fresh ginger, lemon, hibiscus tea and ginger beer.
I got the Buttermilk-Sour Cream Pancakes with caramelized bananas and cinnamon-chipotle spiced chocolate sauce. The pancakes were fluffy, but I found the chocolate sauce a bit too heavy. Given that it’s spiced with chipotle, a drizzle would’ve sufficed.
A friend of mine got the Cookshop Scramble with caramelized onions, creme fraiche, chives & buttermilk biscuit with applewood bacon. She enjoyed this very much.
Julie of The Texan New Yorker liked the huevos rancheros–baked eggs, black beans, ranchero sauce, Monterey jack cheese, lime creme fraiche, crispy tortillas and pickled jalapenos.
Another friend had the Carolina White Shrimp Salad with mixed lettuces, radishes, shaved carrot, fennel, ruby grapefruit and mustard-citrus dressing.
We’re having dinner at The Marrow next week. If anyone is interested in joining us for a future brunch/dinner, drop me a line!
There’s a delightful spot on the Upper West Side called the Popover Cafe. Yes, its signature is popovers. These aren’t your average popovers.
As you can tell from the photo, they are huge. And meaty.
I ate half of mine with the accompanying strawberry butter. The other half I dipped in an over-medium fried egg that was part of my entrée, the Carolina Dinah: grilled jambon de paris (French ham steak), red-eye gravy, cheddar cheese grits, two eggs any style and a popover. Of course, I had to get it since it’s spelled kind of like my name and it’s named after Carolina, where I’ve lived.
I’m still dreaming of these delicious grits. Popover Cafe is fun to visit for the novelty of the popovers, but it’s also a great brunch/breakfast spot. We came on a Saturday afternoon and had only a few minute wait without a reservation.
I have two dates set for my NYC brunch/dinner club. I’m trying Barraca in the West Village (chef is Jesus Nunez, formerly of Gastroarte) and Yunnan Kitchen on the Lower East Side. I have one spot left for Barraca and two left for Yunnan Kitchen, if anyone is interested in joining us!
Posted in Event
Tagged brunch, club, dinner, NYC
I’m starting a brunch/dinner club in New York City. If you are in the New York area and would like to be part of my brunch/dinner club, comment below and I’ll send you more info. Thanks!
Museum restaurants and cafes can be surprisingly good places to eat. New York City is one of the best cities to get great cuisine at a museum. I had brunch recently at Robert, a restaurant at the top of the Museum of Arts and Design on Columbus Circle that serves American and Mediterranean cuisine. Talk about one of the greatest views in the city! Full frontal Central Park.
If you haven’t been to the museum, I highly recommend it, as I’ve gone on a few occasions and enjoyed it very much. The gift shop has unique housewares and jewelry as well.
To get to Robert, take the elevator to the 9th floor. The contemporary space is white with sci-fi see-through chairs with purple cushions and pink and yellow lighting from above. The bathroom doors are pretty cool too with fluorescent pink lighting through the glass door. The lounge area has couches or you can get a table near the window in the dining area.
We were served a basket of mini baguettes and chocolate muffins with creamy-good butter and sea salt.
For starters, I got the chilled corn soup with avocado and cilantro. My friend also ordered this dish, and though visually pleasing, it didn’t work for either of us. I thought the olive oil flavor didn’t mix well with the corn. It was a little overpowering and the consistency was an unpleasant thickness.
For my entree, I got the ricotta cheese pancakes with tomato-dried fruit jam and whipped cream. Pretty, pretty pancakes! These were wonderfully fluffy and light. I enjoyed switching between the jam for a little sweetness and the whipped cream.
For dessert, cheese cake with peach compote and chocolate tuille. This was a light, fluffy cheese cake and the peach flavor was a sweet variation.
My dessert was a perfectly round scoop of house made vanilla ice cream.