I had Maialino on my list of restaurants to visit for a while, the restaurant being suggested by one of my colleagues Dan. We decided to move it up the list when we saw their olive oil cake and chocolate croissant bread pudding on the show Unique Sweets. We chose to go to brunch, on a Saturday. The restaurant, located in the Grammercy Park Hotel is beautiful.
It has three distinctive areas: the bar area with a few tables and communal tables, the cafe where you can order your espresso and some viennoiseries and then the dining room that had a very warm feel, casual but elegant at the same time. In the back, a wall full of Italian wines:
Because Maialino is an Italian restaurant, another creation from Danny Meyer who already spoiled us with Gramercy Tavern, Eleven Madison Park and Shake Shack.
Opened in 2009, this modern trattoria proposes Roman dishes. Maialino means piggy in Italian, so no wonder why this animal is drawn on the menu as well as well represented in the dining menu crafted by Executive Chef Nick Anderer.
We had very good service there and the waitress asked us first if we wanted to start with a beverage, mentioning that they have a nice "coffee program". Being a coffee drinker, I got interested and ended up ordering a cortado that is between a cappuccino and a macchiato.
I could have eaten them with or without the tomato sauce served with it.
Then, Jodi ordered the Frittata Bianca:
At first, it found it deliciously herbaceous, but unfortunately, some parts of the frittata had too much herbs to the point that it completely overpowered the whole dish.
On my side, I ordered the Contadino:
These are poached eggs served with herb roasted fingerling potatoes and caramelized onions.
The dish looked fantastic and I understood fairly quickly why they brought me a spoon to eat it: the eggs were very soft and the yolks runny, playing the role of some kind of sauce when eaten with the delicious potatoes that were served skin on, adding some texture to the dish. This was so good that I wished there were more, despite the fact that there was not enough caramelized onions! This is a fantastic brunch dish that I definitely recommend.
Then came the moment of dessert! Yes, we went for that and were ready to eat that bread pudding!
Unfortunately, they only serve it for dinner. Bummer! But don't worry, we found some replacements...First was the olive oil cake called Torta di Olio d’Oliva that we wanted anyway to try:
It was served with a cream made of vanilla beans and mascarpone. I admit that I did not really care about the cream: just having the cake was sufficient. You do not taste the olive oil, but it gives a nice constancy to the cake, probably replacing some, if not all, of the butter. Needless to say that we finished it.
We also shared a toffee glazed brioche bun:
It was small, too small unfortunately, because also very good!
The brioche was probably cooked on a bed of sugar that had a nice caramelization on the bottom and sides, and the toffee was sublime. I truly appreciated that it was not too sweet.
I really liked my meal at Maialino and it is definitely on my list of places to go for brunch. I will probably go back to try their dinner, but it will not just be for their bread pudding: their menu looks fantastic!
Enjoy (I did)!
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And Remember: I Just Want To Eat!