Saturday Mania

My friend from Buffalo was visiting this past weekend and after having a pretty chilled out Friday night we woke up Saturday ready to rock and roll. There were a ton of food and drinking items on the agenda and after a quick tour of Eataly we walked over to our first pit stop Gramercy Tavern. We had talked about having lunch at the Tavern, but Mr. T was still getting himself ready so we just stopped in for an early afternoon drink instead.

I decided to have a glass of the Franciacorta Rose Brut to start my day. The crisp bubbly had some strong raspberry and cherry flavors but was very balanced.

My friend went for the Orange Blossom. A blend of sparkling wine, Elderflower liquor and orange bitters made this an excellent early afternoon drink. Kind of like a mimosa with a little twist. After our drinks were finished we walked down to Union Square and shopped around the holiday markets. I picked up an absolutely amazing Vietnamese Coffee and Chocolate cookie from the Rubyzaar booth. I didn’t get a picture but it was one of the most delectable cookies I’ve had in a long time. The cookie had a nice chewy center, crispy brown edges and truly luxurious and adult flavors of coffee, cream and dark chocolate.

After the market we walked over to Lille’s Restaurant for brunch. As usual a drink is complementary with any food order but I was surprised to see draft beer as one of the choices. Lille’s has quite an extensive list of beer and it was nice to options other than a Bloody Mary or Mimosa. I decided to keep it light and ordered a Belgian Blanche de Bruxelles.

For my entrée that day I was really torn. I was leaning towards the Burger and Grilled Ham and Cheese Sandwich but ended up ordering the Grilled Chicken Cesar instead. Unfortunately this wasn’t a good choice. My greens weren’t actually green but yellow, and the dressing was thin and pallid with almost no flavor. The chicken on the salad wasn’t good either. It had been extremely overcooked and the meat was a hard, dry mess.

My counterparts ended up ordering what I had been torn between and fared somewhat better. The Cheeseburger came out looking fabulous with crispy bacon and a thick slab of cheddar cheese. However looks can be deceiving and the meat quality wasn’t very good. It had a mushy quality that was really unappetizing and simply became gross towards the end.

The Grilled Ham and Cheese probably fared the best since my friend had no complaints. I didn’t try the sandwich but I snacked on some leftover fries and they were pretty darn tasty I have to say.

Overall however, Lilles was a big brunch fail. I left almost all of my salad untouched and no one exactly raved about their meal. It was too bad since we had a big day ahead of us where a full belly might have helped out. After brunch we walked down to the West Village where all of our plans got foiled by Sanatacon. The village was literally filled to the brim with drunken Santa's everywhere! We aborted that mission and walked back east stopping at Puck Fair, Sala for some meat and cheese and onto Jimmy's No. 43 for a couple good beers.

The night ended in the nearby East Village later than expected and definitely low on food. It was going to be a tough day on Sunday for sure.

Lillie's Reastuarant

Gramercy Tavern