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Tabelog Reviewer TheLunchBelle

 

 

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Tuesday
Aug042009

Brunch at 230 Fifth

  •  Cuisine: Malaysian, bar food
  •  Atmosphere: rooftop oasis, spacious, opulent indoor space decorated in cruise-ship chic
  • Attire: casual, dress to impress
  • Ideal for: outdoor dining, small plates, bar scene, city views, celebratory gatherings
  •  Must try: Homemade French fries
  •  Price: Brunch menu items, all under $19
  • Reservations: Via phone
  • Phone: (212) 725-4300
  • Website: www.230-fifth.com
  • Location: 230 5th Avenue, (Btwn 26th & 27th Streets)

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

What’s the space like?

Outdoor paradise. Those are two words that perfectly describe the rooftop at 230 Fifth. Venturing up to this 20th floor oasis is a bit odd: A doorman directs you to the elevator (on the ground floor of an office building) via a velvet-roped maze. Once you exit the lift, you find yourself in 230 Fifth’s 1980’s-strip-club-esque interior space thinking, “WTF?” A grand staircase leads you away from the purple-velvet-upholstery/cruise-ship-chic décor to an expansive, breathtaking, and “am I really in NYC?” outdoor patio. Think: Lush greenery, palm trees and flowers blooming as far as the eye can see; yellow and white striped canopies (that bear a striking resemblance to theGiorgio of Beverly Hills” perfume box); seating specifically created to evoke conversation and intimacy; breathtaking views of the five boroughs, and most notably, the Empire State Building.

How was the service?

Meh, I’ve had better. Our server was off-pace, thus creating a domino-effect of bad timing upon receiving our drinks, meals and bill. The jolly host, on the other hand, was charming and very knowledgeable about the menu.

Did you drink?

Unfortunately, my party arrived long before noon on Sunday, so we were unable to order alcohol. However, I did have two delicious glasses of homemade lemonade, sans ice.

How was the food?

The menu is a mish-mash of random offerings ranging from Israeli Couscous Porridge and Matzah Brei, to Vegetarian Spicy Noodles and Skillet Eggs (in a spicy tomato sauce topped with pulled pork shoulder). With that being said, I suppose there’s (potentially) something on the menu for everyone. Here’s what I ordered:

  • Tomato Panzanella Skillet Eggs: A small cast-iron skillet arrived with three sunny-side-up eggs that were topped with panzanella salad, consisting of: Cubes of toasted Italian bread, freshly-shaved pecorino cheese, halved cherry tomatoes, pickled purple onions and a heavy drizzle of olive oil. The summery ingredients were flavorful and the bouquet of textures successfully piqued my interest.
  • Home fries: Since my entrée was not accompanied by breakfast potatoes (ugh!), I ordered a side of Home Fries. Sizable chunks of spuds laced with slivers of caramelized onions arrived with a dusting of coarsely-ground black pepper. Had the potatoes been boiled long enough to cook thoroughly, I know I would have enjoyed them much more. Needless to say, I was disappointed by their subtle *crunch.* Luckily, Deidre’s omelette came with a side of 230 Fifth’s homemade frites, which more than made up for my underwhelming home fries…So much so, that I ate every last one on her plate, and then some (from another fellow’s in our party). To say that I inhaled more than my fair share of frites would clearly be an understatement.

What’s pricing like?

I found 230 Fifth’s prices located on the higher end of the brunch spectrum, especially considering:

  • 230 Fifth’s brunch service just began this summer.
  • There is not a prix-fixe menu offered.
  • There’s plenty of competition serving tastier, less expensive food; so besides the outdoor space, how will this venue differentiate itself to lure in customers?

Here’s a snapshot of my bill:

  • (2) Homemade lemonade: $6/glass (Ack!! WTF?!)
  • Tomato Panzanella Skillet Eggs: $13
  • Home fries: $6

Will you return to 230 Fifth?

For brunch? Not likely. For cocktails? Absolutely.

xo,
TLB

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