This past weekend, I celebrated a birthday milestone: the big 3-0. With an eventful weekend filled with libations with family and friends to attending the very quirky and entertaining Broadway show Hedwig and the Angry Inch, it was great to get some much needed R&R, and of course, brunch was the perfect treat for my fun-filled weekend.
I decided to try one of Harlem’s newest Italian gems, Babbalucci, on Saturday afternoon. Tucked away in Harlem’s most popular streets filled with soulful restaurants and lounges, the restaurant’s curb appeal is very eccentric and welcoming.
Upon being seated, I immediately noticed the aroma of rustic, Italian flavors which came from the wood-burning oven. I’ve always appreciated the personal touch and delicacy of a wood-burning oven pizza, which I loved to indulge in during my time living in Miami.
Upon skimming the brunch menu, I decided to start off with the classic mimosa, which is always my favorite brunch cocktail. For the appetizer, my friendly server Andrew suggested I go with the grilled Romaine salad topped with chicken, croutons, parmigiana, pancetta, and anchovy dressing. It was a different take on traditional Romaine salads I’ve had in the past — it had a more bold flavor to it.
The brunch menu had a variety of traditional Italian dishes infused with some American staple dishes. I decided to go with something more on the Italian side with a crepe lasagna, consisting of layered crepes, spinach, mushroom, and ricotta cheese topped with tomato sauce.
Unlike the traditional take on the popular lasagna dish, the crepes were a nice and light touch. It was boasting with flavors, however it didn’t leave me feeling too full like lasagna pasta would.
I figured indulging in some dessert would be the perfect treat to a pretty tasty brunch. I went with the carrot cake accompanied with a raspberry and chocolate puree. It was decadent and bolstered with ginger, which happens to be one of my favorite flavors. A perfect balance of sweet and spicy.
The Bitches say A-. Overall, Babbalucci is the perfect low-key neighborhood eatery with an Italian-American flare and great customer service. While I’m definitely privy to coming back and trying the unique wood-burning pizzas, I’d love to see an outside patio in the front of the restaurant for beautiful summer days like this.
331 Lenox Ave.
New York, NY
Babbalucci is open for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.