Neighborhood: West Village, 211 Waverly Place (between 10th St. & Charles St.)
The scoop: You can’t walk by Morandi without noticing their amazing outdoor space. The majority of their tables are outside on the sidewalk. I can’t think of a larger sidewalk seating area in West Village. All of the doors are perched open, so even if you are inside, you have a little bit of that outdoors feeling. The inside of Morandi has a very rustic feel, one you may find at restaurants in Italy. The prime time for brunch seemed to be about 1:30 p.m., when we were leaving the restaurant. They do not take reservations, so plan ahead. Patrons dining outside seemed to be hanging around, grazing on food and reading, with their pup at their side and in no hurry to leave.
The service was very attentive and professional. The Italians working at the restaurant really added to the ambiance.
Chew on this: As we waited for our dishes to arrive, we took note of the omelette, which looked so delicious I almost switched my order! I am not even an omelette person. The French toast look decadent, and it was served as one giant thick piece of bread. Also, we heard the crepes were to die for. Believe me, save room for them! They’re big!
Fresh bread and olive oil / Complimentary
After we were seated, we were served complimentary bread and olive oil — just what you would expect at an Italian restaurant. It was your standard fresh Italian bread. It was extremely fresh, and the server was willing to refill our basket as many times as we requested.
Focaccia “occhio di blue” $16 / With a sunny-side egg, pancetta & pecorino
The server described this as the Italian version of a breakfast pizza and also noted that the dough is freshly made in-house. Done and done! He was right on. It arrived on a wood cutting board and was a long, flat pizza. It was extremely fresh and delicious. The pancetta was light and well distributed on the pizza, as was the pecorino cheese. The focaccia bread was to die for. It was lightly covered with olive oil and literally mouthwatering. I recommend you ask for two eggs. You won’t be sorry.
Panino con le uova $16 / Egg sandwich with prosciutto, stracchino, peppers, arugula
This Italian version of the egg sandwich was extremely tasty. The panino was also made with fresh focaccia bread. The bread was fluffy and flavored with a little rosemary and salt. The peppers provided a lot of flavor, as well as the prosciutto and arugula. All of the flavors just worked so great together. Stracchino cheese is similar to mozzarella. It was also wonderfully fresh.
The final bite: I would definitely return for brunch at Morandi. The location is convenient, and the prices are standard for the West Village. If you are an Italian food lover and like brunching al fresco, Morandi’s traditional food and authentic atmosphere are not to be missed.
Reviewed by: Erica