Saturday, August 14, 2010


Today we went to Morandi on the West side (Waverly Place and 7th avenue) for brunch in celebration of my friend Tina's birthday. The place had a nice lay-out, with the main dining-room opening directly into the out-door seating and sidewalk area. We were lucky enough to be seated within easy access of the cool breeze, although there were deeper-set regions of the dining room for those who might like more privacy.

We started off with Cestino di Pane (basket of sweet breads). Balthazar's bread basket has a reputation for being really good, but I thought it paled in comparison to what Morandi had to offer. The Cestino di Pane included: a brioche with chocolate and hazelnuts, a ricotta fritter, sugar doughnuts, an italian croissant, sweet pistachio bread, a cherry spiral, and panetti al forno with prosciutto. By far my favorite was the sweet pistachio bread:

For entrees, Tina ordered the Fricando di baccala: salt cod, potato, scallions, and black olives topped with two sunny side eggs

Mary was the only one of us who ordered a sweet entree (which is odd considering the fact that she's the one of us with the smallest sweet-tooth), going for the Fazzoletti di ricotta: warm crepes with lemon ricotta, topped with strawberries, and garnished with raspberries and blackberries

The two Jenns (yes - we call them "the Jenns" - with there normally being 3) ordered the same thing - Pane frattau: two sunny side eggs over spicy tomato-flatbread casserole with smoked pecorino (a type of hard Italian cheese made from ewe's milk)

Olivia and I opted for the Fagottini con prosciutto: baked crepes with ham and fontina cheese. I'm normally the one who likes ordering sugary dishes for brunch (and was VERY tempted by the waffle with creme fraiche and seasonal fruit compote), but I ended up being uber pleased with my savory crepes. The prosciutto was not too salty, and the crepes had a hint of sweet that balanced perfectly with the cheese and ham filling.

We initially did not plan on eating dessert - having been filled up pretty well with the bread basket and our entrees, but once we saw the dessert menu, our resolve caved. Olivia and Shuli ordered the Pesca: rose poached peaches and peach granita with hazelnut gelato and candied nuts

Jenn and I shared the Semi Freddo al Cioccolato: frozen chocolate custard with caramel and olive oil gelato. The chocolate custard was thicker than mousse in texture, and very rich. The olive oil gelato was the best part - the olive oil flavor was more of an after-taste and not too overwhelming. Jenn was a fan of the caramel, which I had to admit was pretty good, even though I'm not normally a huge caramel lover.

The Tina and Jenn ordered the special, but somehow I managed to miss the name. It seemed to be some sort of elder-flower mousse with berries. The servers even put a candle in the middle in honor of the birthday girl.

Included is a shot after Tina took a bite, so that you can appreciate the interior of this mystery-dessert

Overall rating: 8.5/10

211 Waverly Place
New York, NY 10014

1 comment:

  1. Oh my, OH MY, those desserts look so amazing! Seriously bookmarking this post as reference for a future itinerary to dining in NY! *v*