To continue the journey of my final few days in New York, I decided to indulge in one of New York’s most beloved traditions. Brunch. Not just your mundane eggs benedict brunch at blah blah cafe, but the Gossip Girl-esque, Upper East Side brunch at the famous Norma’s located in Le Parker Meridien. The restaurant is always packed and you might have a better chance of winning the lotto than scoring a reservation here. That’s saying a lot for a restaurant that is only open till 3pm and serves only breakfast fare. As soon as you’re seated, you’re greeted with a delicious strawberry fruit smoothie shot, sweet touch (pun intended). Now Norma’s is notorious for a few items: the $1,000 breakfast frittata, and their fresh squeeze orange juice. Unfortunately, I can only afford the latter, but not by much. What do I mean? A glass of orange juice at Norma’s will not only cost you a pretty penny, but bring along a pretty gold bar as well. At a whopping $9, I better be served the damn nectar of the gods. The fact is hard to deny though, their orange juice is absolutely phenomenal and the silver lining is that you get unlimited refills, and boy did I exploit it.Another thing to note: The servings at Norma’s were not meant for those petite twigs you see on Gossip Girl, but for full blown lumberjacks with badass grizzly beards. The Scrambled Eggs and Bacon Breakfast Quesadilla with Monterey Jack Cheese, Guacamole and Salsa clearly represents what I mean. Despite the ginormous serving, the quesadilla is packed with flavor, mostly the juicy delicious bacon. However, a few pieces in you start to question yourself, is it really worth $21? perhaps..Next up we have the highly touted Potato Pancakes. As described in their menu, a James Beard award winning recipe with Homemade Cranberry Apple Sauce and Sweet Carrot Payasam. Simply put, this dish was garbage. The pancakes were cold and tasted like cardboard. I would’ve actually been irate if they served this to me on an airplane. No joke, but I’ve actually had better food at the free breakfast buffet at the Holiday Inn. If you told me this trash cost $21, I would tell you to gag yourself with a sock, blow your head off and drown yourself in the ocean.
Food: 5.5/10 – How could you honestly serve those potato pancakes? I’m still steaming..
Restaurant Environment: 8/10 – The restaurant is absolutely beautiful, but takes a hit because of the pretentious crowd.
Service: 6.5/10 – Service was a bit slow, but wasn’t terrible. My orange juice stayed refilled, so that’s a plus.
Value: 2/10 – Dinner prices for some bacon and eggs? I’ll pass.
Posted in Brunch
Tagged Bacon, Breakfast, Brunch, eggs, Guacamole, Le Parker Meridien, Normas, Orange Juice, Pancakes, Potato, Quesadilla, Salsa, Smoothie
The buzz that surrounds Motorino is undeniable. Touted to be one of the best pizzerias in New York on countless food blogs, it wasn’t until the recent release of a pizza bracket that made me desire Motorino. Forget Lombardi’s, Grimaldi’s, or any other pizzeria you thought was the best, according to Ed Levine (for Rachel Ray), Motorino is the best in the North East.Instead of traveling all the way into Williamsburg, I decided to go the short route and go to the location in East Village. Luckily for us, there was not a wait and we were seated immediately. Also, they have a free corkage, so bring a nice bottle of wine and enjoy your night. What’s great about Motorino is their limited menu (5 Apps and 8 Pizzas). Instead of sitting there bedazzled by all the decadent choices, you can care less and just order what you like. We started off with a Warm Spicy Octopus and Potato Salad. Absolutely amazing. Usually I stay away from octopus, but everything was perfectly cooked and seasoned. Each bite was light and ethereal, the way a salad should be. We also started with a Roasted Beet Salad with Gaeta Olives and Ricotta Salata. The beets were earthy and sweet. Just keep in mind that there are White Anchovies in the dish and offered an interesting surprise when I took a bite. First off I would like to say, that I should have ordered the Margherita. The Cremini and Sweet Sausage was a bit on the heavy side, but delicious and savory as well. Although the pizza was a bit salty, I can understand why it was presented as the best pizza in New York. The dough is light and airy with that fiery charred taste. The ingredients are absolutely the freshest, with Mozzarella, Garlic, Thyme, and Pecorino. However, was it undeniably the best pizza on this side of the country? That’s TBD.
Food: 8.5/10 – Motorino utlizes the light and full-flavored character that embodies Neapolitan Italian cuisine. With top notch ingredients and fare, Motorino will continue to be a crowd pleaser and earn its stake as one of the best pizzas in the country.
Restaurant Environment: 8/10 – A very intimate setting, however you can’t help but notice your neighbors Margherita pizza.
Service: 9.5/10 – Our waitress was hands down amazing, free wine corkage, and impeccable service. Even with a long wait brewing outside, we did not felt rushed for a single moment.
Value: 7.5/10 – Compared to a lot of restaurants in New York, and especially Little Italy, Motorino is a slick deal.