Foodie Fridays: Lamano NYC
When you live in NYC, the brunch options can be endless. There’s a brunch restaurant for everyone, whether you’re in the mood for a party brunch (champagne bottles for everyone!), a family brunch, a ridiculously expensive hotel brunch, or your local greasy spoon. I’m sure that even if you went to brunch EVERY weekend of the year, you still wouldn’t be able to go through all the restaurants in NYC. Brunch options are endless and NY’ers get restless.
These days, because there’s just so many choices, there’s only two ways I go about finding brunch places. First, by word of mouth. That means my friends will text me, “Nicole, do you want to check out this new brunch place?? I hear they have amazing ‘insert new trendy brunch dish'”. The second is by walking and trying to find a place that doesn’t have a two hour wait.
Lamano is a weekend brunch gem because there wasn’t an insane 2 hour wait for brunch (which honestly, you should never have to wait 2 hours for brunch) & the food is insanely good and inventive for brunch.
The majority of the brunch restaurants in New York serve either American or French or Italian food. It can be pretty rare to find a restaurant that doesn’t serve the same old variation of eggs Benedict or blueberry pancakes. Lamano is unique in that regard because they serve Spanish tapas for brunch.
Lamano is located on a quiet side street in Chelsea. Look for a colorful & bright mural next door and a small non-descript black and white sign.
The interior is small yet airy. It has high ceilings and tall tables. The restaurant has an open bar/kitchen area where you can see the chef’s preparing your food (there’s a larger kitchen in the back). I don’t know about you, but I love open kitchens. I love being able to see the chef preparing my food. It’s such an intimate feeling and makes the process of ordering and eating your food so much more enjoyable.
We started off with the sangria (house red wine, orange curacao, citrus, cane syrup & ginger ale) and kaumocho (house red wine, coca cola blackberry liqueur, lemon) which were both delicious.
Because this is a Spanish tapas restaurant, we ordered a couple of appetizers, the pan con tomate with boquerones (toasted bread with fresh tomatoes) and the chorizo picante (sausage served with house bread and piquillo onion jam).
For the main entree, we had the morsilla y papatas con huevo (homemade blood sausage, olive oil potato puree, salsa verde & eggs) and the piquillos de rabo (stuffed piquillo peppers, oxtail, olive oil potato puree, tempranillo & a fried egg). I’ll be honest with you, I was extremely excited about the oxtail. Oxtail is just not something you normally see on a brunch menu, which is a shame, because it’s such an amazing meat. And Lamano did not disappoint; the oxtail was amazing. It was very tender and perfectly cooked inside the seared peppers. The olive oil potato purée was delectable and I basically licked the plate clean. My dining companion had the blood sausage and while hesitant about blood sausage, I sneaked a bite and was pleasantly surprised. It did not taste how I had assumed it would taste (I assumed tangy and bloody) and instead tasted just like a normal sausage except with a bit more seasoning and flavor to it.
For dessert, we opted for the torrijas (challah bread, citrus custard, cherry sabayon). We could have went with a more traditional dessert, however we had been eyeing the torrijas from the beginning, and when told by the waiter that it could be ordered as a dessert, we jumped at the offer.
One of my favorite aspects of the restaurant was the graphic that they had all over the business cards and on the wall. I had to know what was the meaning behind it and when I asked the waiter, he told me that joining of the thumb and index finger was representative of how the Spanish eat their tapas. Such a fun explanation! And of course, Lamano means The Hand in Spanish.
If you’re ever in NYC and need a break from the usual “brunch scene” and would like to try something more inventive, tasty and very affordable (dishes ranged from $12-$14), I would highly recommend Lamano. And if you do, please come back here and comment on how you enjoyed the food! I’d love to know.
265 West 20th Street
What’s your favorite brunch cuisine?