As an addict of Food Network’s Chopped, I should be ashamed for not ever having heard about Poco NYC aside from last week. Especially when their brunch is “world famous” as cited on the website. Without doubt, Poco NYC is right when they refer to brunch as “Legendary Boozy Brunch” because my experience was most definitely all three. One of my absolute best friends and absolute favorite people turned 27 last week and loving (all-you-care-to-drink) brunch just as much as I do, reserved a table at Poco NYC to celebrate. Doesn’t sound like it can get any better right?
Well my friend, you are wrong. From the moment you walk in, the atmosphere makes you want to stay. It has that laid-back feel of a lounge but the classy overtones of a five-star restaurant: it’s the type of place you want to sit and eat and then stick around with a few friends to knock back drinks. While the music was slightly too loud–like to the point where I found myself leaning in and squinting to hear better–the playlist was absolutely golden. Everyone in our party could not stop dancing despite the fact that all fourteen of us were seated pretty close together– Good thing we all like each other huh? It made for an extremely fun time.
Poco was in full Halloween spirit, large spiders decorating the poles and pumpkins carefully positioned around the interior. The rich hues of Autumn paired perfectly with the leather seating. Our party was seated in one of their upholstered leather booths, which was super cozy and comfortable. On my trip downstairs to the bathroom I was pleasently surprised at how spacious the restaurant really was. The downstairs also housed a small bar–secondary to the larger bar upstairs– and a big-screen television.
Poco started us off with drinks. Pitchers of drinks– Mimosas, White Sangria and Red Sangria. Clearly, they were not joking when they said “unlimited.” While Mimosas are normally my Brunch drink of choice–particularly in the face of Bloody Marys– the White Sangria was the highlight of all three options. Being impartial to White Wine I will admit I did not try the Red Sangria but from the rate at which we knocked back the pitchers of White Sangria I could tell there was no reason to. Probably because it tasted more like juice than alcohol. The White Sangria was very fruity and sweet. To me, it was perfect. Folks who tend to enjoy a stronger glass would enjoy Poco’s Mimosa.
The food did not disappoint. I found myself trying to decide between the Lobster Mac’N Cheese and Lobster Benedict because c’mon, who doesn’t love Lobster?! (Don’t answer that!) I went with my initial choice of Lobster Mac’N Cheese and OMG. It was fc^king delicious! The three cheese blend was creamy with a strong hit of parmesan. The chunks of lobster definitely made me a happy camper, and though I normally do not like shell pasta I did not mind it at all in this dish. I did get a chance to steal some of my friend’s Lobster Benedict and definitely enjoyed the arepa, but was ultimately glad I went with the Mac’N Cheese. I was told later in the day their French Toast was also incredibly tasty so it seems Abe Lopez was in the right state of mind when he crafted Poco’s menu.
Now, here is where my one and only one caveat comes in: our food orders were not taken for nearly 30-45 minutes. Considering we were a big group and it would take some time for all of our orders to be prepared, we were a little taken aback. It was not a fault of the restaurants as so much as our first waitress who seemed more interested in dancing and sipping from her cup than ensuring her customers were content. The manager was incredibly understanding (points to him!) and switched our first waitress for Cody, who was an extremely vivacious waiter. Not only was he super personable, swaying his hips to Bruno Mars like the rest of us, he also made it a point to connect with us even though we were in a figurative sense “just there for food.” Cody understood that this wasn’t just a meal, but instead an experience and that makes for great customer service!
Since Brunch is never just a few hours we traveled over to Le Bain at The Standard, High Line to keep the party going! Can you believe in all my years in New York City I have only heard of Rooftop Bars but not actually been to a Rooftop Bar? Someone should have told me I was missing out! The view from the rooftop was absolutely breathtaking! A level below the rooftop includes a small indoor pool, large dance space and glass windows all around so that you can enjoy the view even in the colder months. I am so glad to have discovered this little gem. Definitely a must visit destination for summer!
The MVP of our day/night were Taro Fries from Klong. Taro is a root vegetable, which looks and tastes pretty similar to Cassava. For years, I would refuse my mother’s boiled Taro. Klong’s Fried Taro turned me on to the joys of this little root. Really, you would just have to try them to understand just how good these little guys are. Plus, the Spicy Mayo? Clutch. Definitely clutch.