Tucked on an unexpected side street in Flatiron, my boyfriend and I found our way into brunch at Italienne. Upon first glance, the space was huge with high ceilings and big airy windows. Among one wall sat a rustic bar decorated with a homey, Italian feel and some vintage kitchen equipment that gave a nice finesse to the decor. After taking all this in, we couldn’t help but notice only a couple small tables were filled with guests.
The Bitches were invited in to have a taste of the newly launched brunch at Italienne, so we hoped that the food would be incredible and that maybe people just didn’t know about the brunch offering yet. We’re here to spread the word after all!
My sweetie and I decided to start off our quiet brunch with a few pastries and coffees as we often do. We had heard that the pastry chef at Italienne makes incredible scones (among other delicacies), so we went for a tasting trio of all three on the menu that afternoon. One sweet, one savory, and one seasonal scone sat on the dish looking golden brown and mighty delicious. We dug into the golden raisin, coconut, and orange zest; bacon, onion, and pepper; and French ramp, asparagus and pecorino pastries respectively. Our favorites were surprisingly both of the savory scones although all three were quite delectable. We’d recommend this spread as a sharing starter for any party no matter the size!
Chef Jared Sippel and General Manager James King started the Flatiron eatery with a Northern Italian cuisine. We learned from King during our visit that several of their flavors and inspirations also come from the nearby South of France and Monaco.
For our main course, my boyfriend and I decided to split a few selections recommended by King because everything sounded so tasty. First the Affetatti Misti, a sampling of cured meat and cheese, that the chef custom made for my lactose intolerant palette. The sheep’s milk cheese was so creamy, smooth, and could’ve tricked my dairy-loving beau in an instant. The board came with crisp breadsticks, marinated beans, and some of the best charcuterie we’ve ever had.
I was dreaming of the trout rillette ever since I saw the dish listed on Italienne’s brunch menu online a few weeks prior. The trout is seasoned with a North African spice blend called ras el hanout, which was really unique and tasted almost Indian. My favorite part of the dish however was the starch accompaniment panisse, basically a french fry made from chickpeas– yum!
In search of a little more turf for our surf, we insisted on tasting the Salsiccia, a rather intriguing duck dish. A fried duck egg sat atop a fried potato disk and was served with a link of duck sausage. Although the egg and potato were delicious, the star of this entree was the sausage which came fresh from John Fazio Farms like many of their meats. The manager explained to us that many of the restaurant’s meats come from this farm local to the Hudson Valley and are always hormone & antibiotic free. It was apparent that this farm and Italienne take great pride in serving the best products possible to their respective customers.
As if all that wasn’t enough, we finished our meal with a bite of the mouthwatering rye brioche sticky bun and spicy pain d’epice served with a refreshing citrus marmalade.
The Bitches say: A for a homey, Italian trattoria atmosphere with inspired brunch offerings made with fresh, local meats.
Italienne serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.