Resto – 111 East 29th Street, Manhattan, New York

Recently I had the opportunity to check out brunch at Resto, a restaurant I’ve been wanting to eat at for some time now.

Belgian Bastard Bloody Mary
Belgian Bastard Bloody Mary

We arrived around noon, with a reservation for our party of four, and were immediately seated. It wasn’t overly crowded yet but as the meal went on, a line started to form  outside and the wait quickly grew to 45+ minutes – I recommend making a reservation.

The interior of Resto was simple. Contrasting colors of orange and blue/green painted the walls along with a pressed tin ceiling. There is also a small outside area in front of the restaurant where a couple tables are located – a prized seat on a nice day.

For food and drink, I ordered:

  • Belgian Bastard Bloody Mary: pilsner, vodka, tomato, celery bitters, celery salt, beef jerky
  • Beignets: cinnamon, sugar, chocolate sauce
  • Belgian Hangover Pasta: Vermont ham, gruyere, sunny egg, black pepper

After reading the description for the bloody mary, I was excited to try it. However, it was disappointing. Not that it wasn’t good – it was very smooth and the beef jerky was a nice touch and something to chew on – but I like my bloody marys to be spicy and this didn’t have any kick at all. To compare, after brunch I went to Tonic to watch the Penn State football game and its bloody marys left Resto in the dust.

The beignets arrived shortly after our drinks and these were good. They were on the small side, but what’s not to like about fried dough topped with cinnamon and sugar, and chocolate sauce? The chocolate sauce tasted like it was dark chocolate (my favorite) so I greedily kept scooping away at it long after the beignets were gone.

Belgian Hangover Pasta
Belgian Hangover Pasta

The Belgian Hangover Pasta was a unique dish with a great presentation. The sunny side egg topped the pasta and as you dug in the yolk spread out through the dish, adding a hint of egg to every bite. This dish had great flavors all mixed together. From the egg to the gruyere cheese, it all blended together perfectly. The one thing I thought it could have used was some more black pepper. This was called out on the menu so I expected to be able to clearly taste it. However, I couldn’t taste any pepper at all and think this pasta would have benefited from a more liberal portion of some fresh ground black pepper.

The Verdict

Resto can be on the pricy side depending on what you order – some of the brunch items come with a drink included and some don’t. With drinks in excess of $12, choosing something without a drink included will add up fast. I was expecting a lot from Resto since the reviews are, for the most part, impressive. However, I thought the food was just average. The hangover pasta was definitely a unique concept but for the cost of the pasta ($16), beignets ($5), plus a bloody mary ($12), tax and tip, the meal was somewhat expensive for brunch and for that price, slightly overrated. I won’t be heading back for brunch but do want to give Resto’s dinner menu a try.

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