Chef Elizabeth Falkner's coastal Italian restaurant, Corvo Bianco, launched its brunch menu this past weekend, creating a new Upper West Side staple for a relaxing, elegant, and flavorful weekend brunch.
The open dining room is perfect for mornings, the clouded glass ceiling allows faded sunlight through the panes and onto the white tableclothes of your table, without any squint-inducing harshness. Slowly wake up with a pot of coffee or tea, and share a starter or two off the menu before diving into the main course.
The kale salad ($11) is a sophisticated, grown-up version of a Caesar salad. Crisp kale leaves and satisfyingly crunchy kale chips are tossed in a lemon-anchovy vinaigrette, topped with grated pecorino, and dusted with crunchy pangrattato bread crumbs rather than croutons. Small crumbles of hard boiled egg are scattered throughout the generous salad portion, giving the dish an extra protein boost. Each bite expertly combines diverse textures with acidic, salty, and savory flavors, an excellent wake-up dish for your palate.
The creamy polenta topped with a slow poached egg, mushrooms, black truffle and parmigiano reggiano ($19) stole the brunch show. But of course, any dish with black truffle has an unfair advantage. Spoonfuls of smooth polenta mixed with a running egg yolk and bites of richly savory mushrooms sprinkled with freshly ground black pepper create a wholly satisfying vegetarian dish.
The Montecristo with bacon, cheesy cream, french toast ice cream and red fruits marmellata serves as the menu's ultimate comfort food, solving the ever-prevalant dilemma of savory versus sweet brunch entrees. Rich ice cream and smoky bacon pair expertly in this dish, plated artistically enough to trick yourself into thinking you're eating something a bit more sophisticated than ice cream for breakfast.
For a contemporary twist on the New York breakfast classic, a bagel and lox, opt for the "Bialy" ($15). A platter of house smoked salmon, quenelles of fluffy cream cheese, cherry tomato and cubed cucumber salad, and diced onions dotted with poppyseeds are served alongside grilled flatbread. The pink slices of salmon taste more like sashimi than any deli bagel topping, and the dish has a fun DIY feel that allows the diner to create each bite differently than the last.
Breakfast cocktails served after 12pm include mimosas and Bloody Marys (free with an entree), as well as Bellinis, Champagnatas, and Corvo Bianco's signature creation, the Italian Infusion.
Unlike many New York institutions infamous for their endless Sunday morning lines, Corvo Bianco takes reservations.Visit Corvo Bianco for a filling brunch before a day at the American Museum of Natural History or for a long and relaxed brunch after a hectic Saturday night.