Thursday 23 December 2010

New York - Pullinos, Egg, Balthazar

With so many big lunches and dinners to squeeze in on our trips to New York, it's tempting to skimp on breakfast. But then sanity kicks in and we gorge ourselves anyway.

Eggs on cocotte at Pullinos

Pullinos - Nolita

Pullinos is a charismatic, bar-pizzeria-restaurant with a checkered floor, high ceilings and oodles of charm. It's widely reputed to be great for lunch and dinner (and the pizzas are apparently excellent). But TPG had a waffle here on his previous trip and I haven't stopped hearing about it since (he puts it in the "world's best waffle" league) - so we stopped by for brunch.

First in the door at Pullinos - TPG sleeps on the doorstep

And the waffle had just gone off the menu! Poor, crestfallen TPG. But not matter - the buttermilk pancake with huckleberries and ricotta is baked in a heavy skillet and is thick and fluffy, with good vanilla ice-cream ($11).

My eggs en cocotte with fettunta ($12) are to die for - a rich, creamy eggy joy with eggs, spinach, ham, fontina and thick, toasted bread for shovelling from skillet to mouth . And it might sound boring but the half grapefruit baked with muscovado sugar and mint is a fab little side. We had this at a couple places in New York (I'm yet to see it in London), but Pullinos does it best - and I love the way they segment it for you.

Pullinos, 282 Bowery, New York, Ph: 212 226 1966  
Pulino's Bar and Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

Egg - Brooklyn

Eggs Rothko - before the new camera

It's worth venturing over the bridge to Brooklyn every now and then to witness the flurry of edgy, new places that seem to be popping up each year. Despite its reputation as the up and coming destination for the New York cool kids, I'm still not completely sold on Brooklyn - so many skinny jeans, so much eyeliner (and that's just the men) - but it does have some gems.

Egg is one of them. It's open every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner - and that doesn't stop a small waiting list forming for Sunday breakfast. It's worth it.

Never ending donuts

Egg has a small farm in Oak Hill, New York which provides a healthy growth environment for the plants which end up on your plate. Sit down and be greeted with a plate of fried donuts - which is constantly replenished as you continue to devour them. Be careful to save some room for the massive plates of food that are coming. My Eggs Rothko ($9) is an easy cooked egg inside - INSIDE - a slice of "Amy's brioche" and topped with a considerable amount of oozy Grafton cheddar. It's served with broiled tomatoes and a side of meat or seasonal vegetables - I go for Col. Bill Newsom's country ham, as well as a scone like "biscuit" served with fig jam. It's a heart attack on a plate and it's fabulous. TPG had the excellent steel-cut organic oatmeal with dried fruit, toasted almonds, brown sugar and cream ($7) - and another half grapefruit with muscovado sugar and mint.

There's a country ham biscuit (with fig jam, cheddar and grits), organic grits and eggs, biscuits and gravy, and duck leg seared with potatoes and green onions and served with eggs. This is unlike any breakfast you're likely to have in London right now. The coffee's not bad either - we had pots of it American style. I love Egg.

Egg, 135 North 5th Street, Brooklyn, New York 11211, Ph: 718 302 5151 
Egg on Urbanspoon

Balthazar - Soho

Well, of course Balthazar. For us, no trip to New York is complete without a visit to Keith McNally's beautiful, buzzy French bistro. I've written about Balthazar before. On this trip, we visited once for a takeway coffee and one of their miraculous donuts at the small, takeaway bakery and coffee shop next to the main restaurant, once to have a coffee with a friend in the fun bar area, and once for a leisurely croissant and coffee with the papers. I still haven't ever been for dinner despite raving on about the place for years.

Open early til late.

Balthazar, 80 Spring Street, Soho, New York, 10012, Ph: 212 965 1414
Balthazar on Urbanspoon

Happy Christmas, everyone!


  1. I took my brother to Balthazar last time I went to NYC (which was too long ago!) and yes the food was fantastic! although I made a point of not tipping on my card so I could tip in cash and they took the rather large tip off the card as well. (my fault, I wasn't clear). You must have eaten your way around NYC by now for sure.

  2. Vintage Macaroon - I've made that mistake with tipping before, which is even more annoying if the service wasn't good anyway! (Although it generally is at Balthazar)


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