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Estela, Chef Ignacio Matto's Modern Italian on East Houston Street and Mulberry Street in NoLIta

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Brunch is typically such a mediocre meal it hardly bears remarking on.  Happily, brunch at Estela escapes mediocrity.  Estela sits above a bar in which I spent many a night and early morning in my 20s, Botanica.  I've definitely eaten in the space that is now Estela in the past, but for the life of me, I can't remember what it was.

Brunch was blessedly devoid of any dishes with hollandaise, and for the most part consisted of nice riffs on Spanish cuisine.  I won't go through all 6 items we ordered, but you'd be doing it wrong if you got out of there without ordering the endive salad or the eggs with mojama and croutons.

(Come to think of it, the bloodcake was pretty damn good too...ok, and the smoked whitefish.)

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