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I'm admittedly a creature of habit. Each time I'm in New York, I tend to hit a few places from my list of "regulars" - though I try to squeeze in one or two new ones when I'm there. So it's with that context that I say that I've been to La Pecora Bianca in NoMad the last 4 times I've been to the city. LPB isn't the best italian restaurant in New York. And it isn't the best restaurant in NoMad (which, in my opinion, is the NoMad Restaurant inside the NoMad Hotel). But it fills a gap left by the closing of Craftbar (which wasn't technically in NoMad but close enough). It is a restaurant that serves good food that isn't super high priced where we can meet friends for dinner without a reservation 4 weeks in advance. It's always the place chosen on the dreaded text message chain the day before when someone asks "where should we meet for dinner." From the appetizers, I recommend Whipped Ricotta with truffle honey and country toast ($14) and the Meatballs ($14). Roasted Cauliflower with raisins, pine nuts and mascarpone ($15) is also good, but I'm not a big cauliflower person in general. From the pasta menu, Gramigna with house made sausage, broccolini and pepper flakes ($24) is a favorite, as is the Tagliatelle with bolognese ($24). And the Tiramisu for two ($15) is worth the caloric splurge. Fair warning, they are strict about the wine pours, which can change the glass vs. bottle mathematics.
Location and Rates for Tonight - Website with Best-Rate Guarantee The NoMad Hotel - culinarily known for its affiliation with Daniel Humm's Make It Nice Group (the hotel contains The NoMad Restaurant, and is near Eleven Madison Park) - has opened a second location in Los Angeles.
The NoMad Restaurant, operated by the Make it Nice group is the more casual, approachable cousin of Eleven Madison Park, located in the NoMad hotel. The maze of rooms makes this large restaurant intimate and comfortable, with excellent service to match. Stopped in on Saturday evening for a drink and a snack, ordering a few cocktails and the Crudite ($16). From Las Vegas to Denver to New York in the last week, I've eaten a lot of places - including the aforementioned Eleven Madison Park (for another thread), but the single best dish I had was this plate of raw vegetables and dip. Radishes, asparagus, cauliflower, carrots and chive cream. All quasi-seasonal, all fresh, crisp, and delicious. A wonderful example of perfectly executing something so simple and having the results be amazing.
I visited The Breslin because I needed an early brunch, and it's open early for weekend brunch (7am according to their website, though I visited around 9am). I had the savouries pastry, which is a brioche bun sandwich filled with cheese custard and slices of bacon. Served warm. Really delicious. I also had the baked eggs with spiced tomato and chorizo (which came with two long slices of toasted bread). The tomato component had the consistency and concentration of tomato paste. The chorizo was in the form of slices, like pepperoni, laid under the eggs/tomato paste and also on top. A bit salty, but I also enjoyed this dish. It's a dark space. I found the suggested gratuity amounts at the bottom of the check to be very interesting. You know how the bill at some places automatically calculate the exact amounts for 15%, 18% and 20%? The suggested gratuity calculations on this check were 18%, 20%, and 22%. (Is 18%-22% now the accepted range?)