Mangia Monday at the Rock Center Cafe

Holidays are a hectic time at restaurants and it’s more often a miss than a hit, while they try to keep pace with the crush. That is not the case at the Rock Center Cafe, which has never disappointed this native New Yorker.  We decided to start the New Year at one of my favorite NYC restaurants, with the picture perfect view of the city’s iconic Christmas tree.

NYC Rock Center Cafe

The holiday brunch was prix fixe at $35 per person ($20 for children), with your choice of appetizer, entree and dessert or drink.  The choices for starters were varied from a holiday tradition of Green Lentil soup (to start the new year with cash) to a yummy Roast Beet Salad, which was underwhelming and lacked the beets.  I think there were two buried under a pile of frisée.

Rock Ctr CafeMy entree was an open-faced Shrimp Omelet with tomatoes, spinach and goat cheese, which melted in my mouth.  The table was served with a delicious and varied bread basket (I stole the mini danish puffs before anyone else could grab them!) and a pâté of more lentils (we can’t get enough cash infusion this year!)

Even though I toasted the year with a Bellini, I also ordered dessert. Why not when there’s chocolate on the  menu?  A smooth chocolate-praline mousse with a sprinkle of whole hazelnuts was the sweet ending.

The Rock Center Cafe (20 West 50th Street, NYC) is a true NYC treasure.  Sure, it is busy with tourists, most of the time.  Yet, all of the time, there is a hands-on management team at the ready, not worried about getting dirty, to help out the friendly waitstaff, which in our case was a smiling and competent woman named Lea.

A good, healthy, happy start for everyone in 2013, the year of Amalfi Blue.

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