After opening its doors in November of 2018, this fresh-faced addition to the Upper Manhattan neighborhood of Morningside Heights (home to Columbia University) has quickly cemented itself as a neighborhood go-to for authentic Italian cuisine. This was all confirmed by the friendly table next to us and if you listen you might even hear some Italian being spoken.
Upon arrival at midday the chefs already had the wood-fired pizza oven blazing in the far corner. The large oven creates a cozy and warm feeling in the somewhat dim restaurant that makes you want to sit and stay awhile.
A brown leather cocktail menu sat in the middle of the table, begging us to open it. When we did we were greeted by wine, beer, and a creative list of cocktails created by Bruno Molfetta featuring fresh takes on old classics.
We tried the Cappelletti Spritz and the Garibaldino 10, an aperitivo mixed with blood orange soda. Both were tasty and well presented. The spritz is similar to an Aperol spritz but less bitter. As someone who isn’t the biggest fan of Aperol spritzes I much prefer this version. The Garibaldino 10 was delicious and full of flavor also, I had to hold myself back from finishing it off too quickly.
When it came to food we ordered the baked eggs, sweet waffles, tartufata pizza and the Nonna (seemed only right) off the Pucce menu. For those that may not know what to expect, the Pucce items look similar to a pita pocket but here the exterior is made from pizza dough. This is authentic Italian after all!
The baked eggs came in a homely casserole dish with the baked egg nestled amongst the spinach and ricotta bake. The dish comes with a little bit of bread on the side so you could go in and pop the yolk at your own discretion. This dish was super tasty and the filling reminded me of cannelloni. I found myself continuously going back for more throughout the meal.
Bar 314 is known for its pizza, so when we saw they had brunch pizza on their menu, it was a no-brainer. We chose the tartufata pizza (don’t be afraid to ask about the pronunciation, we did). It has mozzarella, gorgonzola, mushrooms, baked egg and truffle pate — all the good stuff. As soon as the plate came out you could smell that delicious truffle aroma, wafting right off of the pizza. This mouthwatering dish was full of flavor and with the thin crust we didn’t get full easily (read: more room to eat!) This was definitely a star dish.
The Pucce segment of the menu is only offered at brunch time so we gave one of those a crack. On the list the “Nonna” jumped out at us as it contained meatballs, roasted red peppers, broccoli rabe, and caciocavallo (a type of cheese). It also came out with a substantial side salad so if you’re feeling hungry, it’s a good choice. I would say this dish isn’t overly brunchy, in the stereotypical way, but it was filling.
The sweet waffles were a HIT. They were nice and fluffy with good consistency (not airy or crispy like some places) with plenty of vanilla ice cream and Nutella, just the way we like it. While this may not be the most experimental dish to try, it is a crowd pleaser and a good go-to if you’re unsure of what you should get. In waffles we trust.
The Bitches say: three Champagne flutes. Bar 314 provides a good take on brunch with some typical brunch dishes (like waffles and an eggs Benedict) among some not-so-typical ones (pizzas). Their cocktails are well thought out and effort has gone into creating a fun brunch experience while maintaining an authentic Italian feel.
Bar 314 serves brunch on the weekends from 11 a.m. -4 p.m.