Little Giant – Framed in floor-to-ceiling windows, this LES spot does justice to southern cooking. There are so many aces on this menu, it’s hard to choose: biscuits & gravy, a mean grilled cheese with pickles or grits. Your best bet – the trucker’s breakfast – where you can maximize the spread: scrambled eggs, sausage, hand-sliced bacon, mushrooms, gravy and molasses baked beans.
Address: 85 Orchard St., at Broome
202 at Nicole Farhi – A cafe smack dab in the middle of a store has never been my idea of the perfect setting, but when the food’s this good, you just suck it up. It doesn’t feel like much of a sacrifice after you’ve sampled the warm goat cheese salad with crispy prosciutto or the lamb burger with chickpea fries. Oh, and once you’ve ordered, you can pass the time until the food arrives shopping tableside.
Address: 75 Ninth Ave., at 16th St. (Chelsea Market)
Calle Ocho – At this UWS Latin joint, chef Alex Garcia spices things up a bit with a Latin riff on eggs benedict, trading out the biscuit for Indian bread and jolting hollandaise sauce with chipotle. There’s also a mean Cuban pork sandwich and Costa Rican tacos. But the real kicker here – unlimited sangria (ten varieties to choose from) comes with every dish. So you really can’t order the wrong thing.
Address: 446 Columbus Ave., nr. 81st St.
Grey Dog Coffee – Grey Dog’s pretty much everything you want in
a restaurant: good coffee, food and location. This West Village
neighborhood comfort loads their menu with eggs, salads, sandwiches,
burgers and pancakes. A few standouts include the burger, blueberry
pancakes and pressed roast beef sandwich. Soon to come: Grey Dog
crosses over to the East Side (University between 11th and 12th Sts).
Address: 33 Carmine St., btwn. Bedford & Bleecker
Amalia – A worthwhile pick for pre-theater brunch, Chef Ivy Stark has a feminine touch that reveals itself on a homey American menu with a coastal Mediterranean flair: polenta pancakes with warm berry compote and almond crusted French toast. Warm scones with
homemade jams make their way to every table. Though I wasn’t quite as keen on dinner, breakfast just may be Ivy’s calling.
Address: 204 W. 55th St., nr. 7th Ave.
Morandi – Keith McNally certainly understands the appeal of a
good brunch. Balthazar, Schiller’s & Pastis don’t joke around
about breakfast. His
latest and first Italian offspring now takes
on the morning crowd with a bevy of egg dishes, including a frittata
with oysters and poached eggs topped with peas & artichokes. Top
it off with a lemony ricotta and strawberry crepe, and I’d call that
one hell of a morning.
Address: 211 Waverly Pl., nr. 7th Ave.
Phone: 212. 627.7575
Chat Noir – Ladies who are inclined to lunch in their Upper East Side hood, can now do brunch at this French bistro, which features a more than respectable rendition of eggs benedict by land or sea, served with Canadian bacon or smoked salmon, respectfully. Check your diet at the door and order the truffle & parmesan-coated fries.
Address: 22 E. 66th St., nr. Madison Ave.
Mesa Grill – Celebrity chef Bobby Flay fires up a Southwestern
wake-up call with spicy scrambled eggs mixed with jalapenos. If you go
the sweet route, blue corn buttermilk waffles with blackberry bourbon
syrup may ease that hangover you’re nursing.
Address: 102 5th Ave., nr. 15th St.
Ouest – From the familiar to the exotic, veteran chef Tom Valenti shows off in the kitchen, churning out dishes as simple as housemade granola to a delightfully more complicated omelette soufflé. There’s a selection of homemade scones, muffins and sweet rolls that shouldn’t be ignored.
Address: 2315 Broadway, at 84th St.
Until we eat again,
**Don’t forget to subscribe for Restaurant Girl’s Weekly Newsletter**