Thursday, January 22, 2009

BCD in NYC Holiday Special, Part III (or is it??!)

by Xani

Thinking back on this trip, Sunday is a little hazy. It's been almost a month (oops!) since our visit, and the details are hard to conjure up... then again, perhaps the haziness has something to do with the four bottles of pink champagne we downed the night before. It made for quite a morning. We knew the only cure was a delicious, hipster brunch in Williamsburg!

We headed out in the cold to Egg, which we heard had the best brunch in Brooklyn. When we arrived, there were numerous hipsters milling around outside, and a chalkboard propped up against the front window, where names were scrawled and crossed out as the super-nice hostess came out to seat people... she seemed to feel really bad that people were waiting outside in the damp, chilly weather.

After a decently long wait (well, it seems like AGES, but when cold, tired, hungry, and badly in need of coffee, its difficult to judge time), we were finally seated at a cozy little table covered in white paper. The rest of the space was totally stark-- concrete floors, blank walls. Zero atmosphere; this place is all about the food. They did provide crayons so we could dress up our table a little. Our charming waiter quickly brought us french-pressed coffee so we could warm our tired bones (what?). (Also, note that I said the hostess was "super-friendly" and the waiter "charming." "Friendly service-people?? But they're hipsters!?" I hear you cry. Apparently the two are not mutually exclusive. At least, not at Egg.)

Along with the coffee came...wait for it.... donuts! Oh yeah, these melt-in-your-mouth little babies were the perfect sugar rush to go along with the strong coffee. I had already scrawled our logo on the paper in front of me, not knowing donuts were forthcoming. It was a MIRACLE. I think the waiter was confused...

Then we ordered: organic cheese grits and eggs (Stone-ground antebellum grits from South Carolina's Anson Mills, eggs cooked any style) for EP and LP, the country ham biscuit (Country ham from Col. Bill Newsom's Hams in Princeton, Kentucky,served on a biscuit with homemade fig jam, Grafton cheddar) for me, and a side of candied bacon to share. And, omg people, wow, GREAT brunch. So good it cuts through the haze of a champagne hangover and a month's time, and I can taste those cheese grits now....

Just really, really excellent breakfast. My sandwich, with salty ham, sharp cheddar, and sweet fig jam, all perched on a tender biscuit, was sublime. It came with a side of non-cheese grits, but the cheese grits EP and LP got were off the charts. LP deemed the kale (the seasonal vegetable of the day) on of the best things ever. And let's not forget about that candied bacon, which was salty, smoky, crunchy, and covered in a sticky sweet glaze-- in a word, perfection.

So that was breakfast. Afterwards we retired to LPs place to lay around like beached whales until it was time to go to dinner. Yup, we're still eatin'!


Dinner was something I was really looking forward to, as we were hitting another Mario Batali place, and I knew it would be super-tasty. Otto Pizzeria and Enoteca is a more casual, everyday kinda place (well, after eating there, I will say that if I lived in NYC I would want to eat there damn near everyday!). The space is warm and inviting, and we enjoyed (yet another) bottle of Prosecco at the tall tables in the bar before we were seated. Then the six of us (me, EP, LP, LPs boyfriend John, and EP's friend Kerry, who has appeared on the blog a couple times before) got down to the serious business of ordering. This is something of a challenge since Otto's menu is extensive and everything sounded absolutely delicious. So, we did what any reasonable person would do-- go completely NUTS with the ordering!

I can't possibly remember everything we ate, even with the pictures (again, the haziness). There were multiple types of house-made salumi, there were seven kinds of cheese with various accouterments, there were half a dozen antipasti vegetable dishes, there was pasta, there were pizzas, and eventually, there was dessert. These blurry pictures and my inability to recall the particulars of the meal really don't do it justice. Let's just say that my memories of this meal are so wonderful: drinking Italian wine, eating delicious food, enjoying the warm surroundings and good music, and talking and laughing with good friends. What more could I ask for?

Otto was our last meal in NYC before we headed back to Baltimore. We had a freaking fabulous time, as usual, and, as usual, on the train ride home we were already plotting, um, er, planning our next visit. Which will be very, very soon, and to celebrate a seriously special occasion. But first, a BCD family blow-out in LAS VEGAS. Stay tuned!



  1. You forgot the ridiculously HOT waiter!! What a great visit - can't wait to hit up another Batali joint in Vegas, baby!!

  2. how could i forget?? how could we not get a picture of him- he was just as delicious as the food!

  3. We are so going here next time we go to NYC. Awesome food and a hot waiter to boot? Please...

  4. Those pizzas look incredible! I should go to Otto when I'm in NY next month. But what was the substance on the dish surrounded by cheese chunks?

  5. Oh man that looks good. Sometimes pictures speak louder than the longest descriptive passages. I MUST get to a Batali resto at some point.


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