while not exactly shocking news, locanda verde is now my very top place for breakfast in new york. and i know that it may seem a bit tedious, as there have been quite a few reports about this very subject including this one by ed levine for the huffington post, but that doesn’t make it any less true. at first, when all the buzz started i was completely uninterested. locanda verde is the restaurant for the much discussed robert deniro’s greenwich hotel, usually, the celebrity-food combination would just put me off, and i would stay well clear.
however, j and i had been wandering around tribeca a few weeks ago and we came across the space, and i just loved it. the setting is classically beautiful — lots of light, a great combination of brick, dark woods and metals and comfortable seating. the cafe area was especially attractive, and sitting outside was a bonus. the clincher was that my budding barista j noticed the gorgeous faema e61, one of the original high quality espresso machines and boy did it do its work well.
we ate at locanda verde about a week ago with my mom, the birthday girl k (just turned 6) and a quite unruly s giving us his worst toddler behavior. nevertheless, the very beautiful staff couldn’t have been more gracious, welcoming and especially efficient for which i was grateful. we were only one of about three parties at the restaurant (it was about 10 a.m. on a monday) so we basically had the place to ourselves. i was pretty shocked with the emptiness given that most of the over-the-top press had already come out but i was not too sad about it as it didn’t affect our meal in the least.
in addition to the excellent cappuccinos, we started with locanda verde’s baked goods served with this lovely honey butter and strawberry jam. the light, slightly sticky, hazelnut bun was the highlight for me, and if i had been mindful of not getting overly stuffed (at least at that point), i would have been perfectly happy with one of those. i of course had to try a few other items including the olive oil cake and the blueberry polenta muffin. they were good but not keepers for me.
onto locanda verde’s main breakfast course. i opted for the completely over the top uova modenese. though very rich, this dish was spectacular. perfectly poached eggs were served with perfect toast over spinach and house-made “modena” (a kind of pork ) which was then covered (and not smothered) with a tangy tomato hollandaise sauce. i was in a bit of a food coma at this point though i did try a bit of my mom’s fluffy zucchini frittata which was also excellent.
locanda verde had so many other items that i wanted to try that i am sure we will be back there soon, especially as they are now serving brunch on the weekends (a mix of lunch and breakfast items apparently). still on my list are the crisp polenta waffle, the lemon riccotta pancakes, the sheep’s milk ricotta with honey and the porcetta sandwich. i think that we may become locanda regulars, at least for a while, especially if i can convince j that on the occasional days he works in tribeca right across the street (like tomorrow) that maybe we both need to scoot out of the house nice and early for a breakfast boost. hmmm, we’ll have to figure out that babysitting trick. locanda verde, 377 greeenwich street between franklin and moore streets, manhattan, new york, 212.925.3797.