Santacon and I have a love-hate relationship. I couldn’t have loved it more a few years ago when I first moved to the city. What’s not to like about participating in an adult costume party all over Manhattan? Sadly, with age came stronger opinions about bathroom lines, slutty Santas, and commuters who can’t handle a day drink, so I sadly closeted my antlers.
It’s a fun day even when you’re not participating..if you make a conscious decision not to be a cynical New Yorker. For example, I decided to appreciate said Santa’s commitment at 7 AM when I was in route to the gym and he was brown bagging a beer to start his day, instead of giving him the standard city eye roll.
If nothing else it’s entertaining. And we found ourselves right in the heart of the debauchery (and very much sober) for our late brunch at Pecora Bianca. It was icing on the cake that my friends from Kansas were visiting, most of them new to the concept of Santacon.
We settled into our large table and took in our bright surroundings. It didn’t feel like winter in the restaurant, which was flooded with artificial light despite the sun setting outside. Peach prosecco Bellinis and coffee with Baileys were immediately ordered, along with three of the starter toasts.
Between the mashed avocado, the salmon with scallion cream cheese toast, and the fontina and prosciutto toast, we were off to a solid start. I thought the prosciutto was the standout, but these were all well done and perfect for sharing, as they were oversized.
As we were ordered, we observed several Santaconers trying to sneak inside the restaurant to go to the bathroom. La Pecora looks nothing like the beer-drenched bars that typically participate in Santacon, so patrons dressed as Santa trying to pretend they belonged was an especially funny sight. We enjoyed watching many of them be chased down and led out of the restaurant.
Meanwhile, Kyle and I both ordered the toscano salad with kale, squash, pumpkin seeds, sheep’s milk ricotta, parmesan bread crumbs, and charred lemon citronette for our entree. This was as delicious as it sounds and as interesting as a brunch salad can possibly be; both well-flavored and filling.
Kyle’s boyfriend Tommy ordered the grass-fed short rib and brisket burger on house-made brioche, fontina, seared tomato, caramelized onions and home fries. It was moist and cooked to perfection, with a generous amount of toppings. This was a top notch brunch burger and I appreciated that it’s only available on the morning menu.
Paul decided on the ‘bistecca con uova’, otherwise known as steak and eggs. The grass-fed Hanger steak was served under sunny-side up eggs, both cooked to Paul’s liking, with romeso, and mixed greens.
Our other friends shared the uova strapazzate, i.e. soft-scrambled eggs, mashed avocado, country toast and mixed greens. This dish was essentially an elevated avo toast. It was good but plain.
After another round of bellinis and more drunk Santaconers trying to sneak into the restaurant, we said our much-less-sober goodbyes.
The Bitches say: B. La Pecora Bianca serves a good brunch in an area that needs one. The menu wasn’t unusual, but the Italian brunch fare was yummy and well-executed.
La Pecora Bianca
1133 Broadway & 26th Street
La Pecora Bianca serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.