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« What's the big deal? | Main | Dinner at Novita, 6/17/09 »

CLOSED: Brunch at Mesa Grill, 6/20/09

  • Cuisine: American, Southwestern
  • Atmosphere: spacious and grand, bi-level, booth and table seating, theatrical
  • Attire: smart-casual
  • Ideal for: groups, brunch
  • Must try: I enjoyed the Blue Corn Buttermilk Waffle(sans vanilla creme fraiche; I subbed maple syrup for blackberry bourbon syrup)
  • Price: Blue Corn Buttermilk Waffle , $13
  • Reservations: Via phone or opentable.com
  • Phone: (212) 807-7400
  • Website: http://www.mesagrill.com
  • Location: 102 5th Ave., (Btwn 15th & 16th St)

*All of my photos from this meal can be viewed on Flickr

Nearly the entire month of June has been cloudy, dark and wet. The gloomy forecast certainly has had a negative effect on both my mood and my diet. Perhaps it was the fact that instead of being able to enjoy the warm weather outdoors; I chose to watch the rain fall from my window while I downing pints of Haagen Dazs and other crap that makes one look less-than-stellar in a bathing suit. Thank goodness Teddi suggested that we get together for Saturday brunch, because it had honestly felt like an eternity since I’d stepped out of my apartment during the day (except to go to work, of course). “So after my trip to Vegas, I’m just dying to try the Mesa Grill in NYC! I think Bobby Flay is the man! Whatta you say?” Teddi sent via text. “Sure Teds, sounds like a plan.” I typed back.

Unbeknownst to me, Mesa Grill technically didn’t open for brunch until 11:30am. Having arrived fifteen minutes early, the staff was kind enough to allow eager patrons to wait for their 11:30am reservations indoors and/or at the bar. I chose the latter and decided that a glass of bubbly prosecco would surely help pass the time.

Having a moment to peruse, I noted that the restaurant’s space was large, open and industrial loft-like. While these are positive traits for the typical closet-sized spaces of Manhattan, I found the mustard-yellow color scheme to be unattractive and slightly dated.

Teddi arrived promptly at 11:30 and we were seated immediately. Prior to placing our brunch orders, we received a gorgeous bread basket filled with freshly-baked goodies including: Cherry coffee cake, blue corn muffins dotted with yellow and red peppers, jalapeno/cheddar biscuits and fruit muffins. Accompanying the treats was a small dish of red jalapeno jelly. The only addition that would have made this tantalizing assortment better would have been a side of butter.

Mesa Grill: bountiful bread basketI was quite impressed with Mesa Grill’s brunch menu and had a difficult time narrowing down what I was going to order. In the end, I chose the Blue Corn Buttermilk Waffle and Teddi went with the same egg dish that had captured her heart (and stomach) in Vegas.

Taking up nearly the entire circumference of my entree plate was the indigo-colored Belgian-style waffle I ordered. I poured nearly all of the warm maple syrup over my breakfast and took my first bite. Crisp and buttery on the outside and delicate and warm on the inside, my waffle didn’t taste that much different than your average buttermilk version, with the exception of the subtle gritty texture of the blue cornmeal. I found the unique and creative use of this ingredient to be a welcome addition to what is typically a rather plain breakfast dish.

Mesa Grill: blue-corn waffleIf it weren’t for Teddi’s suggestion, I honestly would have never thought to go to Mesa Grill for brunch, or any other meal for that matter. I guess I wasn’t sure what to expect regarding the food, but I must say that I walked away from the restaurant a very happy, and full, customer. I look forward to returning to brunch at Mesa Grill in the future.

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