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Murray Hill Sunday morning early breakfast?

b
blink617 Jun 6, 2010 02:54 AM

My wife and I are staying at the Kitano (Park Ave between 37th and 38th) next Saturday night. We have to be in New Jersey for a party at noon, so I'm looking for a nice breakfast place that will be open by 9. Ideal would be a sit-down place with good pastries, possibly (but not necessarily) French and egg/pancake options. A 15-20 minute walk in whatever direction is great. I'm thinking about Les Halles, not sure what other options to consider. Any recommendations? Thanks!

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Les Halles
411 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016

  1. r
    RGR Jun 6, 2010 09:24 AM

    Maialino, in the Gramercy Park Hotel (Lex & 22nd), serves breakfast seven days a week starting at 7 a.m. We never eat breakfast out, but we have had brunch, as well as dinner, there. (On weekends, they switch over to brunch at around 11 a.m.) The food's delicious, service is excellent (no surprise, since it's a Danny Meyere restaurant), and the atmospherics are exceedingly pleasant. Reservations are accepted.

    Photos of our brunch at Maialino: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391@N03/sets/72157623454684319/

    Penelope is a cute little spot on the corner of Lex & 30th. We've only had lunch there. Extremely popular for brunch on Sat. & Sun. They open at 8 a.m. They don't accept reservations, but I think it won't be too busy at 9.

    http://www.penelopenyc.com

    Heading uptown, dbBistro Moderne, on 44th St., b/t 5th & 6th Avs., serves breakfast starting at 8 a.m. (We've had lunch and dinner there.) This is one of 4-star chef Daniel Boulud's restaurants, so prices are upscale. Reservations accepted, of course.

    http://www.danielnyc.com/dbbistro.html

    P.S. I avoid Les Halles like the proverbial plague.

    7 Replies
    1. re: RGR
      g
      gutsofsteel Jun 6, 2010 09:49 AM

      Maialino is my favorite place to have breakfast these days. It's very good.

      Definitely agree about Les Halles - avoid it.

      -----
      Les Halles
      15 John Street, New York, NY 10038

      Maialino
      2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

      1. re: gutsofsteel
        b
        blink617 Jun 6, 2010 08:15 PM

        So glad I asked - I think Maialino or Penelope will work great for what I had in mind. Thanks!

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        Maialino
        2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

        1. re: blink617
          g
          gutsofsteel Jun 6, 2010 08:20 PM

          Check with the restaurant -I''m not sure anything but the bar area opens on the weekends before 10am.

          1. re: gutsofsteel
            r
            RGR Jun 6, 2010 11:30 PM

            As I mentioned, I haven't been to Maialino for breakfast. However, it is in the Gramercy Park Hotel, and guests of the hotel might want to have breakfast there; therefore I would guess that it's served in the dining room (trattoria). However, even if it's only served in the bar room, there are quite a few comfortable tables.

            Maialino photos including shots of the bar room and trattoria: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

            1. re: RGR
              g
              gutsofsteel Jun 7, 2010 04:26 AM

              Rather than guess, you can simply look at their website and click on "About" and you will see, as I did, that the trattoria room does not open until 10am on the weekends. The bar area (it's not exactly a "room") opens at 8am on the weekends.

              http://www.maialinonyc.com/

              Personally, I don't much like sitting in the bar area, it just doesn't compare to the main room, which is lovely, especially in the morning with the natural light coming through the large windows.

      2. re: RGR
        b
        blink617 Jun 14, 2010 12:00 AM

        Thanks for the recommendations, everyone!

        When I called Maialino on Saturday night to ask about Sunday hours, they said breakfast was weekdays only and brunch didn't start until 10 on Sundays. I was a little surprised because the web site said breakfast started at 8 on weekends, but I decided to switch to plan B instead of walking down there on Sunday morning to see if they were really open.

        We wound up at Penelope instead. There were plenty of tables when we got there around 8:30, but they filled up pretty quickly. The service was a little bit laissez-faire (we had to ask for napkins), but the food was good, the restaurant is cute, and we didn't feel rushed at all. I want pesto on all my egg sandwiches from now on. My wife was very pleased with the granola (after she got over the sticker shock of $14.50 for granola, which came with coffee and juice or a cocktail, so not totally insane by NYC standards).

        1. re: blink617
          Motosport Jun 14, 2010 08:02 AM

          Glad you liked Penelope's!! The service is a little "laid back" but never bad. After my first Penny Egg sammich I do my best to keep some pesto in the freezer to put on our home made egg sammiches. Great idea.

      3. Motosport Jun 6, 2010 02:52 PM

        Penelope is our fave in the "Hill". If there is a line we just sit at the counter.

        29 Replies
        1. re: Motosport
          p
          phoenikia Jun 7, 2010 12:15 PM

          What does Penelope do best?

          1. re: phoenikia
            Motosport Jun 7, 2010 01:17 PM

            We've only had breakfast there but I've never seen any bad reviews on CH.
            I love the Penny egg sammich on a croissant with bacon and pesto. We've tried most of the breakfast items and never have had a bad meal. Great coffee and fresh OJ too! Try it!

            1. re: Motosport
              p
              phoenikia Jun 7, 2010 01:27 PM

              Sounds great. Thanks Motosport!

              1. re: Motosport
                s
                sugartoof Jun 7, 2010 01:53 PM

                I'm sure their breakfast is fine, and one of the better times to visit, but I thought I'd interject with a bad review, so nobody got the false impression this was a solid option.

                The place is incredibly mediocre, especially their sandwiches which taste like something you would get premade from a drug store. Entrees are fluffed up diner quality, with strange execution, random substitutions, that always seem to lack freshness. Service is notoriously poor, to a comical degree.

                1. re: sugartoof
                  princeofpork Jun 7, 2010 02:00 PM

                  WOW, couldnt disagree more in regards to breakfast. I do not like the dinner options. Breakfast is consistently good. The penny egg sandwich or the omlet with feta and grilled asparagus is excellent. Oatmeal is great as well. The service is spotty.

                  1. re: princeofpork
                    s
                    sugartoof Jun 7, 2010 04:20 PM

                    I was suggesting it might be better at breakfast/brunch, because based on my experiences with the lunch -dinner menu it's not a solid option. I was a fan the first months after they opened, and watched it go beyond downhill.

                  2. re: sugartoof
                    g
                    gutsofsteel Jun 7, 2010 02:21 PM

                    If you have to choose, Maialino is a much much better choice. Just go to their website and look at the breakfast menu. There is no comparison.

                    Maialino is a really good restuarant. Penelope is a mediocre neighborhood place.

                    -----
                    Maialino
                    2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

                    1. re: gutsofsteel
                      princeofpork Jun 7, 2010 04:09 PM

                      Completely agree 2 totally opposite breakfast experiences.

                      1. re: gutsofsteel
                        Motosport Jun 8, 2010 06:48 AM

                        We've never been to Maialino so I can't comment on the food/service etc..
                        But: Given the choice between a "neighborhood" eatery and a hotel restaurant we'll always choose the neighborhood spot. Then again we also like Scotty's Diner just up the street from us on Lex and 39th. Typical "Greek" diner experience. No white linen but good food, prices and service.

                        -----
                        Scotty's Diner
                        336 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10016

                        Maialino
                        2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

                        1. re: Motosport
                          r
                          RGR Jun 8, 2010 07:29 AM

                          Though it's located in the Gramercy Park Hotel, Maialino is definitely not a "hotel" restaurant. Cafe Boulud, dbBistro Moderne, and Ma Peche are also located in hotels, and nobody would describe them as "hotel" restaurants either. I prefer to select a restaurant based on the quality of the cuisine rather than its location. I think most of us who have been to both would agree that the food at Penelope's is not anywhere near the high level of Maialino's.

                          1. re: RGR
                            princeofpork Jun 8, 2010 08:11 AM

                            The OP was thinking Les Halles, he/she will be thrilled with Penelope.

                            -----
                            Les Halles
                            15 John Street, New York, NY 10038

                            1. re: RGR
                              g
                              gutsofsteel Jun 8, 2010 09:43 AM

                              Absolutely. Maialino is NOT a "hotel restaurant." It's a lovely restaurant , with an excetionally lovely breakfast,

                              -----
                              Maialino
                              2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

                              1. re: RGR
                                Motosport Jun 8, 2010 11:17 AM

                                Are we likely to find native New Yorkers having breakfast at Maialino or tourists and business travelers? No knocks on tourists as they keep the blood flowing in NYC. From the reviews and their web site it looks like the food and ambiance is fabulous. I guess I just like having a good breakfast with the local rabble. Even when I travel on business my first rule is get out of the hotel and find a neighborhood cafe for breakfast.

                                -----
                                Maialino
                                2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

                                1. re: Motosport
                                  Motosport Jun 8, 2010 11:28 AM

                                  Some pics of: Penny Egg Sammich, Abuela Egg Sammich, Yogurt w/fruit and oatmeal.

                                   
                                   
                                   
                                  1. re: Motosport
                                    g
                                    gutsofsteel Jun 8, 2010 01:18 PM

                                    Maialino is very popular with New Yorkers. It's a Danny Meyer restaurant. It's very good. It is NOT a "hotel restaurant" in feel or menu or vibe or anything else. At all. It has its own entrance from the street.

                                    Penelope is a mediocre neighborhood spot - Mailaino is a very good restaurant.

                                    -----
                                    Maialino
                                    2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

                                    1. re: Motosport
                                      b
                                      blink617 Jun 8, 2010 02:38 PM

                                      I love breakfast with the local rabble (we do that in Boston all the time), but on this occasion I want to take my wife someplace really pleasant with good food - she's joining me for out-of-town family events for 3 weekends within a month, she deserves as much ambiance as we can afford.

                                      I'm pretty sure we're going to wind up at Maialino. The coffee-and-pastry breakfast option sounds ideal, but it's nice to have a few more substantial (if less authentically Italian) options in case either of us decides we need a higher-protein breakfast.

                                      1. re: blink617
                                        g
                                        gutsofsteel Jun 8, 2010 02:43 PM

                                        It's a varied and abunant menu, and a lovely room. Enjoy.

                                        1. re: gutsofsteel
                                          r
                                          RGR Jun 8, 2010 03:16 PM

                                          gos, Normally, Maialino does not take reservations for the bar area. Do they take them for breakfast?

                                          1. re: RGR
                                            g
                                            gutsofsteel Jun 8, 2010 03:20 PM

                                            Yes. Which you can easily see on Open Table. I have been there for breakfast at least 3 or 4 times and have had a reservation each time.

                                            This has nothing to do with the bar area.

                                            1. re: gutsofsteel
                                              r
                                              RGR Jun 8, 2010 11:41 PM

                                              gos, Wait! Didn't you say they serve breakfast only in the bar? In any case, as I've mentioned before, we don't eat breakfast out, so I've never bothered to check OpenTable.

                                              1. re: RGR
                                                g
                                                gutsofsteel Jun 9, 2010 04:24 AM

                                                No I did not say that. I said that the main dining room doesn't open until 10am on the weekends, so if you want to eat breakfast before 10am on the weekends, it's in the bar area.

                                                Look at Maialino's website and click on "About" as I said above and you can see for yourself.

                                                I posted this above in response to you:

                                                "Rather than guess, you can simply look at their website and click on "About" and you will see, as I did, that the trattoria room does not open until 10am on the weekends. The bar area (it's not exactly a "room") opens at 8am on the weekends.

                                                http://www.maialinonyc.com/

                                                Personally, I don't much like sitting in the bar area, it just doesn't compare to the main room, which is lovely, especially in the morning with the natural light coming through the large windows."

                                                -----
                                                Maialino
                                                2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

                                            2. re: RGR
                                              s
                                              sugartoof Jun 8, 2010 04:44 PM

                                              I wouldn't think you needed a reservation for an early breakfast. It usually looks pretty leisurely, if the view from the street is any indication.

                                              1. re: sugartoof
                                                g
                                                gutsofsteel Jun 8, 2010 07:46 PM

                                                It has been pretty full after a while every time I've gone, and on the weekends breakfast can get quite full. Doesn't hurt to make a reservation.

                                    2. re: Motosport
                                      p
                                      phoenikia Jun 8, 2010 08:40 AM

                                      Thanks for mentioning Scotty's Diner, Motosport. I was wondering about coffee shops/diners in the area.

                                      I am hoping to try Maialino's breakfast, but I find it interesting that Maialino bills itself as a "Roman trattoria", yet it serves bacon & eggs, and "ricotta pancakes", etc. on the breakfast menu, when most trattorias are not open for breakfast, and most modern day Romans/Italians just have coffee and a pastry for breakfast, rather than a hot breakfast.
                                      http://maialinonyc.com/_pdf/breakfast...

                                      If Maialino wasn't located in a hotel, I doubt Maialino would serve breakfast. It seems to me most of the better hotels in NYC have in-hotel restaurants that serve bacon & eggs, and pancakes, to keep their bacon & egg-loving and pancake-loving guests happy.

                                      -----
                                      Scotty's Diner
                                      336 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10016

                                      Maialino
                                      2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

                                      1. re: phoenikia
                                        g
                                        gutsofsteel Jun 8, 2010 09:44 AM

                                        The have to make the hotel guests satisfied too, but the breakfast menu is very good and extensive.

                                        1. re: phoenikia
                                          s
                                          sugartoof Jun 8, 2010 01:16 PM

                                          I think it's more a case of offering a nice menu, above and beyond their theme, rather than attempting to be a theme room where authenticity trumps the food. The waitstaff will be speaking English, for example.

                                          Maialino attracts about as many locals/tourists as any restaurant. It's not a hotel dining room, it's just located in a hotel. Same with the Breslin, and Jean George, and countless other top food destinations. Serving the hotel is not their priority, and should not be mistaken by an out of towner as the same as going to a Hyatt, or Hilton dining room.

                                          -----
                                          Jean Georges
                                          1 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023

                                          The Breslin
                                          20 W 29th St, New York, NY 10001

                                          Maialino
                                          2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

                                          1. re: phoenikia
                                            g
                                            gutsofsteel Jun 9, 2010 08:52 AM

                                            "most modern day Italians..." Having spent a lot of time in Italy since childhood, even recently, I'd like to attest to the fact that many Italians also eat bread & butter, fruit, yogurt, cheese, softboiled eggs for breakfast all the time.

                                    3. re: Motosport
                                      d
                                      downtownchica Jun 8, 2010 09:16 PM

                                      Penny egg sandwich is so good. I always want to try something else but just like it too much to turn it down.

                                      1. re: downtownchica
                                        princeofpork Jun 9, 2010 06:19 AM

                                        I actually get it on a english muffin and only 1 egg. Just a better ratio.

                                2. s
                                  sugartoof Jun 7, 2010 01:35 AM

                                  You might try Resto.

                                  If you do consider Maialino, be prepared to take a cab on the return, if time is tight. Consider how much your food will be, and just figure it a part of dining there.

                                  -----
                                  Resto
                                  111 East 29th Street, New York, NY 10016

                                  Maialino
                                  2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

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