Totally by accident, I discovered a new yummy alternative to the typical downtown brunch. I stopped into the Tasting Room Wine Bar yesterday for an iced Americano (which was excellent by the way) and the lovely barista suggested Tasting Room on Elizabeth St. in Nolita for brunch when we mentioned that we had intended to go to Prune (it just so happened to be closed).
The spacious restaurant was more or less empty when we walked in after noon. Yes (gasp!)- no line! The space was strangely laid out, a small front area with a few tables and a largish bar connected by small corridor to a larger space in back with maybe 25 more tables and a private (tasting) room. The decor was pleasing in that rustic, but simple way but felt claustraphobic. The partially visible wine storage near the entrance was a nice touch, with rounded walls constructed to look like a wine cask. The benches were nice, though I did not care for the backless stools accompanying the table.
The menu was very much in line with what I remembered from the old space - with an emphasis on seasonal artisanal ingredients. 10 or so items were offered in taste and share portions, with the former an appetizer sized plate, and the latter being more akin to an entree size. Prices were between $10-25 or so, not the most inexpensive place, but in line with Clinton Street prices. My SO ordered a share plate of the delicious brioche french toast. The 1.5" thick, well-soaked brioche was topped with slightly sweetened ricotta and wild blackberries - I did not miss the mapple syrup at all. I ordered the rich fried duck eggs (which they offer in addition to regular hen eggs, pheasant eggs and goose eggs) plated over some nice kashi, and served with perfectly greased and grilled English muffin. The duck eggs were silky and luxurious with an unusual rich flavor. It's really difficult to describe. SO's mother ordered the taste of Red Wattle farm pork (loin?) which was a substantial piece of nicely seasoned and cooked meat, accompanied by perfectly soft fried egg and carmelized baby leeks and carrots. (really, the Share option for this would have been way too much) We didn't try their Bloody Marys as we were a bit hungover from the night before. Service was friendly and genuine. Our bill came to roughly 54 with tip.
They also gave us a 25 dollar gift certificate for filling out a comment card. I imagine they won't be doing this forever but hey, it was a nice touch.
by Camryn Rabideau | Welcome to Cookware Week! We're sharing our favorite cookware sets, accessories, and kitchen appliances...
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