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counter inside

This week we invited Boston Globe newspaper writer, Erin Ailworth (not pictured above) to join us at the vegetarian bistro, Counter, as our first Guest Bruncher! Erin writes about consumer energy, clean technology and green business, but since none of our New York restaurants would be topical for her Massachusetts-based job anyway, we just choose a place we’d been eyeing for a while. … wait, I mean, we totally picked this vegetarian place because… plants are green….and stuff.

What We Ordered – Dean’s Beans coffee and Jessica ordered a peach iced tea that tasted like it was made with syrupy peach nectar. Our water glasses were filled from a carafe that had a single slice of grapefruit wedged in the neck for a very light but fantastic flavor. Such a great idea for tap! We also all split the Housemade Bakery Goodies as an appetizer – poppy seed crusted raspberry and blueberry muffin/bread with housemade nutella and sangria marmalade to spread.

  • Country Breakfast –  Vegan scrambled tofu (fiesta style) with home fries, mesclun greens & whole wheat toast. (jessica ordered)
  • Coconut Quinoa – Quinoa made with coconut milk and then drained. Topped with a whole grain crisp (raisins, oatmeal, etc) and grilled pineapple. Served with a side of soy cream & brown sugar. (nicole ordered)
  • Tuscan Eggs (or as nick called them, Tough Guy Eggs) –  An english muffin topped with cooked spinach, poached eggs, mushroom sauce and a dollop of holandaise. Served with home fries, a mesclun salad and housemade ketchup. (nick and erin ordered)
Counter food 1 Counter food 3
Counter food 2 <—    times 2

The Service – Our waiter was like the atmosphere: relaxed and calm. He was attentive and helpful without hovering… which can be hard when we’re occupying the only filled table for 15-20 minutes.

The Food! – There were varying conclusions regarding the muffin/bread appetizer (erin thought the marmalade salty, nicole found it buttery; nicole found the breads tasteless but jessica thought they were a good compliment to the strong flavors of the spreads) but there were yums all around when it came to the main dishes. 3 of the 4 of us were not fans of the coffee, but it wasn’t total revulsion, we just preferred other brands (nick was the lone stand out, he loved it).

The Price – a little pricey. $8-$13 for brunch options, not including any liquid refreshment (besides water). And the muffin appetizer business was $9, although they did give us an extra helping of marmalade and nutella, no charge.

The Website – The entire brunch menu is online!

Bonus – Soothing music (a modern O Brother Where Art Thou? soundtrack vibe) and a gallery installation from Mark Golebiowski featuring 3D edible flowers (seriously, ask for the 3D viewer and walk around the restaurant to see all the pictures pop).

Rating – Overall  Rating:   4.35

The Breakdown: 4.5 from Jessica, 4 from Nicole (said her amazing quinoa didn’t make up completely for the tasteless muffins), 4.9 from Nick (the bathroom faucet boiled his hands), and a 4 from Erin (thought the nutella was so good she proclaimed it best eaten alone).

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Counter

105 First Ave

New York, New York 10003

Brunch hours: opens at 11am

http://counternyc.com

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Scottadito

What We Ordered – mimosas and then more mimosa refills. A free appetizer of focaccia bread with a dip that tasted like blended bruschetta.

  • Thick french toast topped with a perfectly thin layer of Nutella and fresh banana slices. Topped with cinnamon.  (Nicole ordered)
  • Eggs Florentine with spinach and hollandaise sauce on toasted bread. Served with a side of country potatoes and a tossed mesclun salad. (Nick ordered)
  • Thick french toast topped with fresh blueberries, blackberries and strawberries, a light dusting of powdered sugar and a side of maple syrup. (Jessica ordered)
berry french toast scottadito - eggs florentine

The Service – Our waitress was attentive but reserved. She answered our questions but offered little more conversationally. We think she may have been a little sleepy or just feeling a bit under the weather. Either way, we had no complaints about the service at all.

The Food! – Amazing. The appetizer was brought immediately after we ordered which was a happy surprise since we were starving! And the not-quite-salsa/ not-quite-marinara dipping sauce gave me the impression of almost a mild gazpacho; so refreshing on a hot summer day. The french toast was made with a flavorful batter that could have stood alone with just some powdered sugar, but the light toppings in both cases (fruit or hazelnut chocolate spread) took the meals into the realm of perfection. Nick’s reaction to his Eggs Florentine was, quote, “mmmm” and he had to be seriously coerced into sharing, enough said. Unfortunately, our table did have to have a bit of a problem with ants and we wiped one off every few seconds until our meals arrived, like a “search for the hidden objects” picture (remember those in Highlights magazines in doctor’s offices?). But once our food arrived, the ants (and our concern with them) seemed to completely disappear.

The Price – $14.94 fixed brunch with unlimited mimosas and 16 brunch-tastic options. A total deal!

The Website – The entire brunch menu is online!

Bonus – The Park Slope neighborhood is super cute to walk around if you get into the area before Scottadito opens or walk to explore after brunch. We found a tiny flea market about 3 blocks down that took over a playground for the morning hours and numerous sidewalk garage sales set up along the tree-lined streets.

Rating –  4.5  from all!! (minus just 1/2 point for ants)

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Scottadito Osteria Toscana

788A Union Street

Brooklyn, New York 11215

Brunch hours: opens at 11am

http://www.scottadito.com

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