Behind the Swinging Doors: A Look Inside Maialino’s Kitchen

What goes on behind the kitchen doors at Maialino?
Jane Bruce

The kitchen at Maialino was quiet at 10:15 a.m.

Mornings at Maialino in New York City are mostly for hotel guests, as well as the occasional breakfast meeting held over pastries and Counter Culture coffee. The restaurant opens bright and early at 7:30 a.m., so the visitors can get a jump on the day and the businesspeople can get to the office by 9. For the chilly New York mornings, Maialino offers fresh coffee from Counter Culture, as well as a variety of teas and espresso drinks, plus hot apple cider.

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We stopped by the Maialino kitchen at 10:18 a.m. on a Tuesday. Breakfast service had significantly slowed down by that point, and some chefs had started on the prep for the day. Servers waited at the south side of the kitchen for bowls of oatmeal and small plates of seven-grain toast. Chef de cuisine Jason Pfeifer runs the kitchen, but at a slow time like this, everyone was working quietly on prep for the day. The sound of the blender puréeing butternut squash filled the morning silence. 


The breakfast menu at Maialino offers a variety of eggs, sandwiches, grains, and pastries. You’ll see the squash purée in the Contadino, with poached eggs and roasted fall vegetables. Another great fall dish is the Farina Dolce, cream of wheat and Concord grape compote. For just a quick snack, try a pumpkin-cranberry scone with a cup of coffee.