Restaurant Week Brunch – All’onda

I had first visited All’onda when it opened last year for the Boyfriend’s birthday. All’onda had caught our eye since the head chef used to work with the Altamarea Group, which we’re a little obsessed with. I was pleasantly surprised by my meal – the Ventian-Asian inspired flavors were refreshingly new and different. When Restaurant Week (or month?) rolled around, I opted for brunch reservations to All’onda so my mom could give them try since I’ve also been introducing her to several Altamarea restaurants.
We arrived on time for our 1pm reservation for Sunday Brunch and was promptly seated upstairs in a booth table. I love sitting at booth tables because they give me so much room to sit back, relax, and enjoy my meal. All’onda’s Restaurant Week Brunch menu offers four appetizer, five entrée, and three dessert options, which is a lot more choices than most RW restaurants!
For my appetizer, I opted for the Stracciatella with salsa verde, plums, and grilled sourdough. The stracciatella was smooth and very mild. The salsa verde and plums gave the otherwise flavorless cheese a nice kick. The portion size is generous and I actually could’ve used another slice of sourdough.
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My sister and mom both went with the Polpetti alla Veneziana, or veal meatballs with tomato and parmigiano fonduta. The meatballs were very tender and airy. The sauce was really nice – I think I saw some bonito flakes on top of the meatballs, which was an interesting addition. I think this was the best appetizer on the menu.
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For my entrée, I had the Bucatini with smoked uni and spicy bread crumbs. The bucatini is one of their most popular pasta dishes so I knew I had to try it. For the Restaurant Week menu, there is a market price supplement charge, which ended up being $7 per dish for us. The dish was divine! For uni lovers, this is a special treat. The pasta is cooked to a perfect al dente and is super creamy. There is a generous portion of uni tongues dispersed throughout the dish. I highly recommend this!
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My sister opted for their Pollo al Limone, or roasted lemon chicken with braised kale and pan sauce. I think this is the RW menu option that provides the biggest potion size. The chicken was very tender and not tough at all, which can happen to chicken breast. The kale was too salty for all of us, but we were pretty much full from our appetizers and entrees to even finish the kale!
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For dessert, both my mom and I had the Olive Oil Cake with ricotta gelato, strawberry, and basil seeds. I’ve had this dish before so I knew what I was getting. The olive oil cake is soft and light and pairs well with the ricotta gelato. I always enjoy this dish because it’s not too sweet and is a nice, light finish to a savory meal.
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My sister ordered the Bellini Sundae with Prosecco sorbet and peaches. The Prosecco sorbet was a bit melted when it arrived so the pictures aren’t terribly appetizing but it was a very tasty dessert. The Prosecco gave the sorbet a bubbly texture and ensured it wasn’t too sweet. I just wish it wasn’t so melted by the time we began eating it!
Service was attentive and we were able to sit and chat during brunch without being rushed. I highly recommend visiting during Restaurant Week to take advantage of the reducing pricing of the Bucatini with Uni. I remember the market price surcharge being pretty hefty the last time I visited!

Egg Shop

We were meeting up with some college friends for drinks and dinner but I was completely stumped on where to eat. A friend suggested Egg Shop, located in Nolita, just a few blocks shy of both Soho and Chinatown. A quick look at the menu showed promising options so we decided on it. We arrived around 7:30 on a Monday night and was seated right away.

We decided to split appetizers to start since none of us could figure out what to get for our entrees! The entire menu looked so good! We started off with their Golden Bucket ($16.00), which is fried chicken with hot honey, fresh herbs and sea salt. I really, really liked the chicken! The outside was crunchy while the meat was juicy. I also liked the hot honey because it was sweet and had a kick at the same time. IMG_7430

We also split two orders of the Maple Sausage Sliders ($11.00) since each order only came with two. The Maple Sausage Slider featured a housemade sausage patty with Vermont maple syrup with a fried quail egg on top. They had me at the fried quail egg! The sausage was a bit messy to eat because of the runny quail egg yoke but it was pretty flavorful – with a bit of a kick as well.

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For my entree, I went with the Eggshop B.E.C. ($10.00), which features a broke yoke, Shelburne Cheddar Cheese, black forest bacon, and tomato jam on a panini roll. The first thing that caught my eye was the leaky yoke – I absolutely love a broken egg yoke. I love it when it leaks into the bun of the bread and softens it up. This sandwich was really good – the bacon was thick and flavorful and the tomato jam was a more refined version of your standard ketchup. I wish I could eat this for breakfast everyday!

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We also split a side of fries ($5.00), which comes with Sohha yogurt and sweet chili sauce for dipping. We barely touched the sweet chili sauce cause the Sohha yogurt was the better of the two. For those of you unfamiliar with Sohha, it’s a Mediterranean, savory yogurt that’s located in Chelsea Market. It’s literally the best dipping sauce ever because it’s creamy and savory, which compliments the salty fries.

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For dessert, a friend and I split the French Toast ($9.00), which features french toast soaked in Vermont maple syrup and Ronny Brook Chocolate Cream. It’s topped with fresh fruit – in our case, it was blueberries and apple slices. The french toast was good but the best part was the sweet chocolate cream – it tasted so good!

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Service was attentive throughout and our waitress was very nice. I would definitely recommend either coming really early or really late because around 8:00 – 9:00PM, the restaurant was packed! By the time we left around 10:00, it was only half full. And yes – they let us sit there for almost 3 hours!

Buvette

I was looking for a new breakfast spot to try out when I stumbled on Buvette, located in the West Village. Buvette is a quaint little French restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s pretty hard to find if you’re not familiar with the West Village – both the Boyfriend and I actually went the wrong way twice!

We arrived around 11:15am and the Boyfriend ordered lunch while I ordered breakfast.  I like that they offer the breakfast menu with the lunch menu so we can get both at the same time. I went with their most popular dish – Steamed Scrambled Eggs with Prosciutto ($12.00). They offer a smoked salmon option as well but I opted for the less traditional breakfast combo. The dish comes with the fluffiest eggs I have ever eaten and three slabs of bread drizzled with olive oil. The result is a build-your-own egg bruschetta dish that was pleasantly filling.

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The Boyfriend with with the Steak Tartare ($16.00), which features chopped beef with capers and cornichons. The steak tartare was also served with toast. The tartare was very good – fresh and seasoned perfectly. I’m used to the beef being chopped a little more finely than the one here but it was still pretty good. The Boyfriend quickly gobbled up all the tartare and was left full but not too much.

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The Boyfriend ordered an Americano with milk on the side while I ordered a Latte. Both were extremely good – the coffee was strong without being bitter. There’s seriously nothing better in the morning than a fresh cup of good coffee. The service was good – there was nothing amazing about it. The dishes did take a bit longer than usual to come – I’m chopping it up to the fact that their eggs are steamed and scrambled in an espresso pot. Overall, great dishes but a bit pricey for a normal breakfast.

Fiat Cafe

Fiat Cafe, located in Nolita, is a small little restaurant that’s easily overlooked if you’re not on the lookout for it. But the service and the food is definitely not easy to forget once you’ve had it. We arrived at around 11am and we were seated right away. The storefront is pretty small though so every table is a bit of a squeeze. We were given menus to look over and we definitely took our time because everything sounded so god!

We finally decided on the Prosciutto di Parma and Mozzarella ($6.50) to share. It’s a very atypical dish to order for a mid-morning meal but I never say no to mozzarella and prosciutto. The dish was drizzled with olive oil and a dash of black pepper – just the way I like it. Both the mozzarella and prosciutto were very fresh and really solved my mozz cravings!

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I went with the Poached Eggs with Gravlox Salmon ($7.00), which was served on top of toasted English muffins and topped with hollandaise sauce. It also comes with a side salad with balsamic vinaigrette, which was very refreshing. At the $7.00 price tag, this was the cheapest Eggs Norwegian I have ever had. The taste definitely did not seem like it was only $7.00 either! The eggs were poached perfectly and there was definitely enough lox to go around.

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The Boyfriend went with a BLT on Ciabatta bread ($8.00), which also comes with a side salad. The BLT was very good – just the right amount of mayo on the ciabatta, which was warm and crunchy. I also love how they didn’t skimp on the bacon.

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The service was attentive and our waitress was super nice. She was very friendly and was very accommodating to all customers in the restaurant. I’m actually thinking about returning next week for some French Toast!

Ladurée Soho

I have been waiting pretty impatiently for the Soho location of Ladurée to open ever since rumors came out about it last year. Almost all my friends know how Ladurée macarons are my absolute favorite! The Boyfriend and I were both super excited about not having to trek up to to the Upper East Side to their original location every time a craving hit. We’ve both been in the new location to pick up boxes of macarons before but we waited until we had a free day before heading over for lunch.

I had made reservations via OpenTable and we were seated right away in their dining area. The hostess left us with menus – both the food menu and the drinks menu. We both opted to go with hot coffee to start off with. The coffee came relatively quickly – but then we were left with our menus for the next 20 minutes or so. After a pretty long wait for our waitress to come back, we finally managed to flag her down and make our orders.

The bread they bring over to your table is super hot. They’re most likely baked to order because I had to do a bread juggle because they were so hot! They look a bit like English muffins with the nooks and crannies on the inside. They were so delicious when smeared with butter!

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The Boyfriend went with the Omelette Ladurée ($16.00), which features mushrooms, cheese, ham, and tomatoes inside a thin egg omelette. The omelette was pretty good – I was so amazed by how thin it was! It managed to keep all those ingredients inside without breaking at all.

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He also ordered a side of Ladurée French fries ($5.00), which are thick cut and lightly salted. They were so thick, they looked like Jenga blocks!

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I went with the Club Saumon ($19.50), which features smoked salmon, hard-broiled eggs, cucumber, lettuce and mayo on toast and served with Ladurée French fries and a mesclun salad. You get two sandwiches stacked on top of each other so it looks a bit like a circular tower. I really enjoyed this sandwich. You get the best part of each slice of bread – the middle. I love hard-broiled eggs in sandwiches and this one had an abundance of them. I’ve never had a smoked salmon club sandwich before and this was an amazing first one! Combined with the French fries and salad, I was really stuffed after I cleared my plate!

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The food was delicious and the coffee definitely went down smooth. I love the attention paid to the small things – like covers for the coffee carafe handles to prevent us from burning ourselves. My only complaint is the mediocre service. After we ordered our coffees, I felt like we were forgotten about. After we flagged down our waitress and made our orders, we seemed to lose her again. We asked the waiter who brought our food over for water, but he never came back. We finally managed to flag down someone to get water and ketchup so props to the waitress from the other part of the dining room who put up with us even though we weren’t her table.

My tip is to look over the menu before you come or look it over outside the storefront. Make all your orders at the beginning so you never get forgotten about!

The Grey Dog

I woke up in the mood for French toast one day and a quick Yelp search lead me to The Grey Dog. I had passed by numerous times on my way between Soho/Noho and Chinatown but never really noticed the restaurant. The Grey Dog is a cafeteria/counter-service style, which means you order and pay at the counter. After you order, you pick a table and a waitress will bring your food when it is ready.

They offer a variety of breakfast foods (served until 3pm) salads, Michigan sandwiches, burgers, entrees and some small plates. After some time with the menu, my French toast craving was overtaken by the idea of mac & cheese. The Grey Dog offers a baked sharp cheddar mac & cheese with a cute salad ($9.95). The cute salad is basically a mini mixed greens salad with shaved cheese and a balsamic vinaigrette.  The cute salad, in my opinion, was really good. It was light and refreshing and just the right size to supplement my huge portion of mac & cheese. The mac & cheese was also quite good. It was a bit more watery than your typical mac & cheese but it worked well together since it helped lessen the bite of the sharp cheddar.

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The Boyfriend ordered the Seared Tuna and Avocado Taco ($14.95), which also comes with a cute salad. This dish stole the show. They cook the tuna to your liking and our tuna was definitely on point with our medium rare request. Tuna should never be eaten completely cooked unless it’s canned! The tacos come with a corn salsa, which was amazing. It had a tiny hint of spice but nothing too overpowering. I highly recommend this dish (even if you’re their for breakfast!).

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We also opted to share a piece of Peach Cobbler ($5.00), which is a huge portion. It was a great portion to share and it was super delicious. It was just the right amount of sweetness!

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I’m so glad that Yelp pointed me in the direction of The Grey Dog because we had an amazing brunch. The food was delicious and the atmosphere was relaxing. I will definitely be back – perhaps next time for dinner!

Jane

Since it’s been a while since we had brunch, the Boyfriend and I headed over to Jane in the South Village. I had made reservations on OpenTable before I left my house and I’m so glad I did because when we arrived around 12:45pm it was packed! Granted it was the day before New Years Eve but it was still a Monday! We were seated immediately after we checked in, which was a plus. Judging from the amount of people waiting by the door, I thought we would’ve had to wait despite our reservation.

Despite the fact that I walked in craving French Toast, after looking around me and seeing everyone else’s delicious sandwiches, I opted for a BLT + E, which is a classic BLT with bacon, lettuce and tomato with an added sunny up egg and lemon aioli ($14.00). It comes with a huge side of fries, which is definitely more than enough to fill you up. In fact, I was too full to finish all my fries! The addition of the sunny up egg was amazing – the runny yoke added so much flavor to the otherwise typical BLT.

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The Boyfriend went with the Avocado Sandwich ($14.00), which features avocado with goat cheese, cucumber, sprouts, tomato, and red onion on multigrain bread. Instead of fries, it comes with a side of of mixed greens, making the entire dish super healthy. The Boyfriend and I split our sandwiches so we could try them both. Although the avocado sandwich got messy to eat, it was very refreshing and light.

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We ended up our meal with their Seven Layer Chocolate Cake ($8.00), which features a stiff chocolate cake with chantilly cream, whipped ganache, and chocolate sauce. I love stiffer chocolate cakes so this was perfect for me. I hate when I cut into a cake and it falls apart because it’s too soft! The cake was not too sweet, which was amazing. I highly recommend this dessert!

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Service was attentive enough. Despite the packed dining room, our dishes were cleared when we finished and our food arrived in a timely manner. I definitely want to be back to try out their French Toast since everyone else seemed to be ordering it if they weren’t ordering sandwiches that day!