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Maialino: Last Brunch of 2011

December 28, 2011

It was one of the last Saturday afternoons of 2011 and my last weekend in New York before the holidays.  I chose to spend the day with friends, starting off with a rendezvous over brunch at Maialino.  I have always liked the warm and inviting feel of Maialino, located right off of Gramercy Park, making it a brisk walk across town from the apartment.  I guess others must agree with me as last minute brunch reservations here were hard to come by but luckily we were able to snag  the last three stools by the bar.

We started off with a trio of homemade pastries, a brioche caramellato, a pane cioccolat, and panella di zucca.  These three tided us over perfectly as we waited for our entrees.  My favorite of the three was actually the sleeper, pane cioccolat.  While it might look like just another chocolate croissant, this was excellently executed pastry from its shattering crust to its buttery flaky dough to the bittersweet filling.

Our entrees arrived right on time as we caught up over the pastries in the at times fleeting sun light.  A plate of creamy soft scrambled eggs with generous portions of black pepper and pecorino and a surprisingly large porchetta sandwich for my companions.  And yes, I can attest that the porchetta is indeed a portion for two.  If you can somehow manage to find a way to consume this dish in a graceful fashion, I applaud you and hope that you found this as delicious as I did when I stepped in to help polish this off.

As for me, instead of my usual contadino of poached eggs over seasonal vegetables, I went for the coppa romano.  This is a slightly heartier dish of poached egg served with a fried pork terrine over lentils and turnips.  The terrine offered the most intense punch of pork flavor and while it might not for everyone but you will love it if you can forget about New Year’s resolution for a second.  I found myself loving every bite, even the lentils and turnip which was a pleasant reminder of the ever colder weather outside.

Perhaps we weren’t quite ready for the blast of cold air that we know will hit as soon as we pushed open the door and find that the sun had disappeared.  So we stayed, lingering in our stools just a bit longer.  I guess winter was truly upon us and what better way to stay warm than to huddle close among friends?  Eventually, we head outside content with a filling meal in our stomachs and finally ready to go on with the rest of the weekend.

Maialino | 2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010 | http://www.maialinonyc.com

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