Breakfast and lunch at a Nolita hotspot

We may have missed out on snapping up the $25 lunch or $38 dinner deal during Restaurant Week, but that didn't stop us going to Locanda Verde, a casually swanky Italian tavern in Tribeca. Located in the Robert De Niro owned Greenwich Hotel, something tells me this place pulls the crowds at any time of the day. Hotel guests, visitors from out of town or corporate suits and skirts from the Financial District. It's casual, affordable and pretty comfortable.

Turning up for breakfast was a nice way to get a feel of the place at the restaurants quieter times, as lining up at the door at dinner involved some patience. The breakfast menu may not be enormous, but the combination of a small written menu and a counter loaded with amazing baked items, provided enough of a choice for the days first meal.

How's this for something a little different to start your day with. Sheep's milk ricotta (15), truffle honey and burnt orange toast. As simple as it was, it was the flavours and textures that made this dish shine. Creamy ricotta cheese, sweet and aromatic honey and lightly charred slices of sourdough. Not one crumb was left in the wooden bowl. If you haven't already seen it, you can try my recipe for it here.

It was a conventional choice, but the crispy wholegrain waffle (16) didn't disappoint. Strawberries, maple syrup, basil and some mascarpone for a slight Italian accent.

We return for lunch on another day, savouring every mouthful of the complimentary bread that's brought out just before our mains arrive. It's akin to focaccia, served warm and retaining a crispy crust that's crowned with caramelised onion and cheese. That was some seriously good bread.

A bowl of girandole (20) celebrates the flavours of escarole (endive), olives, chickpeas and duck sausage. Not much bitterness from the endive and a lot more fiore sardo would have been nice, as I do love a good pecorino.

The Atlantic halibut (29) is cooked as should be; soft, flakey and beautifully moist. Soft pearls of fregola provide the foundations, mixed with peperonata, prosciutto and olives. Pops of sweet and salty, then a citrus hit from the golden sauce over the fish.

Dessert at lunch became very much the norm and such things as pistachio honey cake (12) helped sweeten our teeth. Slices of poached plum, some syrup and a berry sorbet were't necessary but, hold on, they were. They were perfect accompaniments, as well as the mascarpone.

Loved the white peach tarte tatin (12), oozing sweet syrup and flaking all over the place when you attacked it. For a casual, yet elegant meal, Locanda Verde sure is worthy of repeat visits.

Locanda Verde
377 Greenwich Street
Tribeca 10013
212 925 3797
website
Locanda Verde on Urbanspoon