|Photo courtesy maialinonyc.com|
Some of Meyer's restaurants I've previously dined at include The Union Square Cafe (which I've discussed twice on Mission: Food), Gramercy Tavern, Shake Shack (a perennial favorite, and I've dined at 4 different locations), and Eleven Madison Park (which no longer belongs to him, but his influence certainly lives on so it will stay under the Danny Meyer umbrella in my eyes). I had wanted to try Maialino, Meyer's Italian restaurant in the Gramercy Park Hotel, for some time, but never really had the opportunity until this occasion.
The food and service certainly lived up to my expectations from a member of the Union Square Hospitality Group (Danny Meyer's company). I was perhaps most thrilled by the fact that it was open early on weekdays for breakfast, making it super convenient for this meetup. Like I said before, the list for great breakfast in the city on a Wednesday morning is pretty short. Along with my iced latte, I shared a few baked treats with my companions, all of which are made in house.
|Clockwise from top left: Ricotta Chocolate Chip Bread ($4), Olive Oil Muffin ($3), and Chocolate Croissant ($4)|
Our selection included an olive oil muffin, chocolate croissant, and ricotta chocolate chip bread. The olive oil muffin and ricotta chocolate chip bread were moist and decadent, while the chocolate croissant had a beautiful shatter to the crust with a still-melted chocolate filling. Each of these sweets is excellent in its own right, and the prices are very reasonable for an establishment of this caliber ($3-$4 each). I was tempted to take some baked goods to go as well. Perhaps next time!
My friends both ordered one of the most popular breakfast dishes on the menu, the Contadino, which is poached eggs served with seasonal vegetables. In this case, it the eggs were served atop roasted carrots, chicory, and sunchokes. Both of my friends were very pleased with their choices and allowed me to steal a bite as well. Delicious. Would happily consider this for my next visit to Maialino. I can see why it's so popular with regular diners.
|Fagioli e Cotiche|
I was tempted by a new dish on the menu, the Fagioli e Cotiche, a dish of white beans stewed with prosciutto skins and served with a sunnyside egg on top. Much like the rest of the menu, this dish appears to be seasonal, as it has already been removed from the offerings. I can't imagine anyone wanting stewed beans in the middle of summer anyway. For what its worth, I thought this was a delicious and comforting dish for a chilly morning. It was garnished with a bit too much parsley, in my opinion, but otherwise it was a solid meal, especially along with the charred Italian bread.
Our mid-week breakfast was made even more eventful once the table next to ours was seated. Imagine my surprise when I glanced over and saw Danny Meyer himself seated with a guest and enjoying breakfast just as we were. If it's good enough for Danny, its certainly good enough for me :) On our way out, I just paused to say hello to the man responsible for some of my favorite restaurants. I had met him previously at Gramercy Tavern and mentioned that during my hello. In typical fashion, he remembered me and exactly where at Gramercy we had run into each other. I was impressed and flattered. Meeting Danny again was an additional, unexpected highlight to my breakfast! Whether a future visit to Maialino includes a run-in with its owner or not, I would be thrilled to dine here again.
2 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10010