My lifelong goal of having brunch in a Barbie Malibu Dreamhouse has finally been achieved now that I’ve dined at Pietro Nolita. A sea of bubblegum pink has flooded my Instagram feed ever since this “healthy Italian” opened a few weeks ago in my neighborhood, and I immediately added it to my To-Brunch list.
You can’t miss Pietro Nolita if you’re strolling down Elizabeth Street. The entire exterior is painted its signature hot pink hue, complete with a bright pink neon sign out front and some pop art. In fact, my mom and I were heading to another brunch spot in the neighborhood after finishing some horchata lattes at the newly opened Cafe Integral (OBSESSED), but made a Hail Mary decision to give Pietro Nolita a shot after spotting it down the street.
The entire interior of the intimate restaurant is consistently tickled pink, from the retro bar stools, coffee mugs, toilet seats, and cloth napkin accents. They even sell t-shirts that cheekily proclaim, “Pink as F*ck.”
With my mom visiting from out of town, I took the day off so we strolled in around 10:30 on a Friday. About three-quarters of the tables were full, but we snagged a small table for two upon entering. Seating is seriously limited so you may want to consider dining during the off-hours to avoid an egregious wait.
It is to be noted that there’s a cute bar with a few stools, perfect for sitting out the wait with a cocktail or a coffee and pastry. A few diners cozied up at the bar as the restaurant filled up closer to lunchtime.
Pietro Nolita’s breakfast menu is small, but we were still torn between numerous tasty-sounding options like the soft scrambled egg crostino and the coffee waffle. Most of the menu items had an Italian influence and erred on the healthier side, which was much appreciated after feasting at L’Artusi and Rubirosa the nights prior.
With a lighter menu focus, Pietro Nolita certainly has its clientele down. My mom and I were surrounded by waifish Soho model-types sipping cappuccinos and picking at fruit bowls, while taking “candid” photos in front of the Instagrammable pink walls.
But first, coffee. There are plenty of espresso-based drinks on Pietro Nolita’s breakfast menu and I was delighted that almond milk was offered as a dairy-free alternative. My latte was powerful and frothy, perfect to fuel a day of sightseeing with my mom.
I ultimately selected the panne ricotta, a fancy ricotta toast topped with figs, honey, and hazelnut. Figs, honey, and ricotta is a tried and true flavor combination and this toast did not disappoint. It was deliciously sweet, but not overbearing, and the generous serving of ricotta tasted fresh and homemade. The thick-cut bread was satisfyingly crunchy and the portion hearty enough to slightly warrant the $13 price tag.
My mom’s go-to breakfast at home is Greek yogurt and granola so I wasn’t surprised when she ordered the granola bowl, served with seasonal fruit, honey, and fresh mint. The dish had a beautiful presentation and we appreciated that the granola was served on the side, for portion control.
The fresh mint made the dish stand out and this was anything but your ordinary granola bowl.
We took a gamble popping into Pietro Nolita last minute for a quick weekday brunch, but it was worth it. The light fare was perfect for the the morning and the ambiance was absolutely adorable.
The Bitches say: A-. Simple, but well prepared breakfast dishes in one of the most Instagrammable cafes in the city. Perfect for a post-spin bite and coffee with your basic Bitches.
Pietro Nolita serves brunch every day from 7 a.m. until 12 p.m. (646) 998-4999