Although I have had breakfast in several places during my trip to New York, Maialino is definitely different. It is a long rectangular space decorated with wooden shapes, a bar at the entrance, wood parquet and rugged leather chairs... It's a relaxing space where the lights are dimmed and the vibes are all fresh and positive.
This place was my new coup de coeur from the minute I walked in. I had a good feeling about the place even before trying the food. The decor is exceptional, the way wood is used, the way the tables are topped with blue table cloths under clean white ones, the brown coffee cups, the cutlery, a Peugeot pepper mill and sea salt on a plate, the bottles decorating the walls... every single detail is well thought of at Maialino.
Overlooking Gramercy Park, Maialino is a trattoria re-imagined for present day New York City. It is inspired by the rustic cuisine of Rome’s distinct neighborhoods.
Maialino is divided into four spaces: Bar Maialino is walk-in only, the Trattoria dining room, the Cucina which divides the two spaces and houses the barista, bread and salumi stations, & the Private Dining Room which accommodates special events.
Now for the menu, the kind of offerings you never expect to find at your average breakfast place. In-house made pastries (olive oil muffin, pumpkin cheese cake, provolone croissant...), sandwiches (porchetta, panino indiavolato...), eggs (egg whites, pecorino, mushrooms...), grains (cinnamon honey crunch cereal...) and sides like roasted porto rosemary.
- Pumpkin cranberry cream cheese cake. It is not strictly a cheese cake but rather a kind of muffin, extremely moist, topped with pumpkin seeds and filled with a juicy layer of cranberry. It's awesome, redefining simplicity into a mouth watering dessert that left me speechless. The pumpkin seeds and their crunch, the softness of the muffin, the filling, the presentation. Two thumbs up!
- Soft scrambled eggs, Pecorino cheese and black pepper; yes as simple as that, a plate of scrambled eggs enchanted with smoky flavors of the fine cheese and topped with Parmesan. The plate is served with crunchy biscuits on the side. Superb, breathtaking... redefining finesse at breakfast.
- The croissant; imagine what adding speck and aged provolone to it would be like? A flaky croissant hosts thinly sliced speck and very aromatic provolone. The right amount of butter, an enjoyable crisp before reaching the fine ingredients. I enjoyed this croissant so much.
The day my life changed...
- And my heart skipped a beat... indeed, my eyes watered... I couldn't believe what I was eating. Toasted pancakes that were a bit brown in color and didn't look too appetizing until you have your first bite... words are not enough to describe the feeling, the softness of the ricotta cheese filled pancakes melting under my palate like fine butter, the flavors of this unique cheese and the sweetness of the maple syrup, followed by pear jam... oh my Goodness, my heart was beating irregularly. Orgasmic... yes, it's orgasmic...
But I was not ready to leave yet. I called the waiter and asked for more and more items to try. I tried their cinnamon roll which was just as good as all the rest.
A glazed cinnamon roll looking like any other cinnamon roll on the planet until you cut into it. Super fluffy dough topped with lightly sweet glazed cinnamon and filled with cinnamon cream. When you think you've enjoyed the cinnamon roll like you would any other, the filling comes through to triple the pleasure. It's about the ingredients used, the fine sugar, the quality of ingredients and the know how poured into this simple yet superb breakfast treat.
I was happy, so happy to have discovered Maialino, a sumptuous breakfast with Italian influences where the experience is guaranteed to leave you amazed. I had the best pancakes ever here in New York and anywhere in the world for sure.