Ricotta pancakes with macerated strawberries and fresh ricotta $15
Two thick pancakes, fresh off the griddle. A pinch of lemon zest in the mix brought light citrus hints, while a little ricotta added a wonderful fluffy texture. On top, a small dollop of creamy ricotta and a serving of sweet, gooey marinated strawberries.
Stone cut oatmeal with farro and candied nuts $12
Upon finding out this dish is normally made with milk, my vegan dining companion requested the kitchen prepare a bowl of oatmeal with water. The staff very kindly obliged and brought out this breakfast staple. The candied pecans, hazelnuts and almonds were sweet and crunchy, while the farro was good and earthy. However, having eaten water-based oatmeal many times in the past, we were surprised at how watery this version was. Rather than thick and hearty, the oatmeal was rather runny and watery. Of course, we recognized that this was a special order, so perhaps something for the kitchen to note in the future. We were also disappointed by the serving size: the shallow bowl was a bit cheeky.
Salsiccia di cacio e spinaci $7
These delicious, meaty sausages were filled with spinach pecorino and pork. A tasty mixture of melted cheese, tender meat and rich spinach, flavored with fresh herbs. The ideal accompaniment to any meal.
As a caveat, Maialino is more widely recognized for dinner than brunch. Even so, our dining experience was mostly positive. The service was friendly, the space airy and the tables comfy. We sampled a few baked goods before our main courses and were mostly impressed. We had delicious olive oil muffins, salty focaccia and almost ordered yummy porchetta biscuits. The pancakes were a great, springtime option. The oatmeal, however, could have been better. Perhaps the kitchen could have a vegan-friendly version on the menu. For instance, Untitled at The Whitney (which is also a Danny Meyer property) serves a fantastic apple cider oatmeal.
Overall, I’m excited to return to Maialino to sample some other excellent Italian options from their enticing menu. Beware that, at night, the space can be rather noisy and reservations can be tough to come by. There’s a bar and they also take walk-ins, so perhaps stop by, add your name to the list and then enjoy a drink in the Rose Bar next door.
2 Lexington Ave.