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Jun 5, 2012 10:15 AM

Locanda Verde brunch review

As a New Yorker who claims that brunch is her favorite meal, I’m embarrassed to admit that my first visit to Locanda Verde was only this past weekend. What was I thinking by not trekking over to Tribeca sooner? Clearly, I was not thinking at all. Lesson learned. The following is a run-down of what we had. More details + photos of each of the dishes can be found on my blog:

By noon on a Sunday the place was hopping. Despite all the tables being occupied and wait lines being formed at the bar, I found the service to be wonderful. Our waitress even took the time to run down the entire menu and detail which dishes could and could not be made vegetarian. It seemed like she’d gotten that question once or twice before. The menu appeared pretty pork-heavy at first glance, but it turns out that many of the dishes can be made veg with 1 or 2 easy tweaks.

We immediately ordered the item I was most excited to try, the sheep's milk ricotta with truffle honey and burnt orange toast, as an appetizer for the table to share. It was as glorious as I’d hoped it would be. Maybe even better.

For my main, I had the zucchini frittata with roasted tomato, goat cheese and basil, made with egg whites. Nothing to complain about here. Light, fluffy, super fresh. This was pretty much the egg dish you always hope will be presented to you at brunch and seldom is. I was a happy camper, though the frittata was so big I actually couldn’t finish it on my own.

Also ordered at our table was the hazelnut-crusted french toast with sour cherries and mint. Hello, decadence! I only sampled a couple of bites of this, but whoa- such an awesome flavor and texture combo with the soft bread, crunchy hazelnuts, sweet syrup, and sour cherries.

My husband got the breakfast stromboli with fennel sausage, spinach, strachiatelle, and a runny egg mixed in there. He found the dish to be great comfort food, and the innards to be warm, tasty and indulgent.

Final thoughts: Don’t be a silly person like me; If you have not done to already, I highly recommend that you go to Locanda Verde at your earliest convenience. And please get the ricotta appetizer. It’s that good. I think I need to go back immediately to sample more of the menu.

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  1. I was just there about 2 weeks ago too and loved the experience. We were first sat at a bar while they were clearing our table. My husband ordered a bloody mary which he said was great. We wanted a full lunch menu but apparently they don't serve lunch on the weekend so we ended up ordering from the brunch menu. We ordered the sheep's milk ricotta, 8 hour tripe, lamp sausage grinder and spagetti all vongole. Everything was above average, in fact, we booked another reservation for dinner for next Friday wanting to try their dinner menu.

    I also love the decor and the interesting mix of people eating there.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Monica

      It's pretty rare that a restaurant can execute a n equally great brunch and dinner experience... It's definitely on my dinner to do list as well. The squid ink pasta is calling my name. Did you have any standout dinner items that I should keep in mind?


      1. re: HealthyPantz

        Locanda Verde's signature dishes include the sheep's milk ricotta (slightly different at dinner), blue crab crostini, meatballs, grandmother's ravioli, chicken for two, porchetta sandwich, and budino. The menu does change periodically.

        Other restaurants that do well at both brunch and dinner:
        Minetta Tavern
        Joseph Leonard
        The Breslin

        1. re: kathryn

          I have a quibble with the Breslin's "Full English Breakfast," as one single lonely paltry mushroom does not "Mushrooms" make.

          1. re: kathryn

            Cafe Mogador, too, on a relatively though not super-inexpensive and informal level. It's more a very good neighborhood restaurant that's good to go to from outside the neighborhood if you feel like coming to the East Village than a real destination restaurant, though, in my opinion.

            1. re: kathryn

              I've had Breslin's brunch. Not as impressed and not one I would rank up with better ones in NYC. Good service though.

        2. We finally made it to Locanda Verde for lunch (well, they call it brunch). While we do not love egg-and-pancake type brunches, my partner and I had enough to choose from on the menu to make it more like lunch (our main meal on Sundays). To start, we shared the arugula, fig and American speck salad and the tartara Piemontese. The salad was very good and the tartara was outstanding. For entrees, we shared the Amatriciana and the shaved porchetta sandwich. While both were outstanding, we felt the Amatriciana was just a little bit better, The spaghetti was cooked perfectly al dente and the sauce was the best Amatriciana we've ever tasted in the States. For dessert we shared a peach crostada that was served with a wonderful basil syrup that really made the dish. Delicious.
          The only negative part of the meal was the service. Our waitress was adequate, but not very attentive. We never had to wait for anything, but a food runner could have done just as good a job. She really had no personality or finesse; two qualities a good server in such a restaurant should have. We both agreed eating at the bar mext time would be a better idea as I observed the two bartenders serving their guests with a lot more "relish" than most of the waiters and waitreesses I observed around us.

          1. I, unfortunately, had a really terrible service experience which put a seriously bad taste in my mouth and I'm not excited about going back.

            5 Replies
            1. re: RebelWithaCause

              I live very close to LV, i've had bad service the 5 times I've gone. The food I find just OK.

              1. re: foodwhisperer

                Bad service and food "just OK" and you've been there 5 times? Do you keep going back just because you live close by?

                I wonder if the bad service has to do with the fact they are connected to a hotel and feel that since they are dealing with a lot of tourists from all over the world, that their good service may not be compensated for with a good tip. That's kind of the vibe I got.

                1. re: mangiare24

                  honestly, we were treated so poorly. we are born and raised NYers. We ordered about 3 bottles of wine and were a party of 6 big eaters. The waiter was a straight up %itch. He huffed and puffed and rolled his eyes more times than you could possibly imagine.

                  1. re: RebelWithaCause

                    A friend of mine left there in tears. The waiter kept messing up their orders and then tried to humiliate them.

              2. re: RebelWithaCause

                Yeah, I had pretty bad service the one time I went to Locanda Verde as well. The waitress was just really slow the whole time and rude when we pointed out that our bill included two things we didn't order. She actually snapped at us, "That's not my fault. I didn't do that!" Like...what?

                Here's the whole review: