Brunch with Taylor at Maialino

Pennoni alla cabonara

Taylor and I had a lunch at Maialino, Danny Meyer’s newest restaurant at Gramercy Park Hotel for Taylor’s birthday.  As usual for Danny Meyer’s restaurants, the service was impeccable (knowledgeable, prompt, warm and no attitudes).  He really knows how to train the staff. The restaurant is supposed to be a Roman trattoria, and accordingly the room is rustic (blue checkered table cloth and lots dark woods) yet modern (white table cloth on top of blue table cloth). The Sunday afternoon menu is a brunch menu, so the menu was mostly egg dishes and sandwiches and limited number of pasta dishes.  We ordered Panella alla Gricia (a small roll with guanciale and pecornio) as a starter, and they were perfect little morsels of savory warm bread.  As befitting to its name (meaning little piggy in Italian), Maialino’s menu is heavy on pork products.  I ordered Pennoni alla carbornara (with guanciale instead of pancetta), and the sauce was an exemplary carbonara, but I did not care for pennoni (relative of penne) as much as perhaps homemade tagliatelle.  Taylor had Raviolo al uovo, and I would order that dish again any time.  It was one big raviolo filled with egg yolk, potato, ricotta cheese and herbs with sage butter sauce.  When you cut the raviolo, the egg yolk bursts and mixes with butter and cheese and potato, and it is heavenly.  We finished the meal with a Torta della nonna (in this case, lemon custard tart with pine nuts) and Tartufo with caramelized apple.  They were both lovely even though Tartufo was more like panna cotta than ice cream.  Happy birthday, Taylor.

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