Review 44 & X Hells Kitchen (622 10th Ave , 212-977-1170)
We had brunch here on Sunday afternoon mostly because we had to meet somone in the nabe, and I seem to remember a positive experience some years ago here.
There was a little bit of a wait for a table at 1pm on a Sunday afternoon, but the whole city eats around then, so that's not surprising. The host manning the front desk was pretty efficient and gracious, so it wasn't too bad. (I noticed that all the staff seemed to be male models, which seemed unusual) The decor is a soothing monochromatic white, and its bright and airy with large windows and mirrors. The three of us were seated at a larger table which we shared easily enough.
They brought out some complimentary muffins with butter and jampots; these were quite good, while we ordered a round of breakfast cocktails ($10 per). My grapefruit juice and vodka was pretty good -- it had been a long time since I've had one of those.
Then we got our main courses. I had the eggs benedict ($12) which was pretty good except for the home fries which were made with red creamer potatoes. I think its better to use russets for that, and reds for potatoe salad or steaming. We also had an egg florentine ($12 with an extra $2 for egg whites) and the herbed scrambled eggs ($12). The scrambled eggs were a little runny but the grits they came with were good along with the sausage. I think pretty much every table I saw had someone getting the scrambled platter, so they must be doing something right with that.
When we were done our check was brought quickly and efficiently, with no pressure to leave. I hear they have had service issues here, but I didn't detect any on this busy Sunday brunch. I saw that they served their well regarded but (relatively) pricey Mac & Cheese ($14 wtf?) for brunch as well, but just didn't want to start the day with something that leaden. Maybe next time; I remember it being a good thing for a table to share.
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