Over this long weekend, I visited Toby’s Public House in Manhattan’s Nolita for brunch with a friend.
It’s relatively new location, as they expanded from their South Slope, Brooklyn location. Inside is a rustic, homey kind of restaurant where there’s dark wood and brick interior. At the bar near the door, there were two large, flat screen televisions on mute while groups of diners were enjoying their conversations and have good pop oldies playing in the background.
We started with a craft fermented vodka cosmopolitan cocktail ($10) and a glass of fresh orange juice ($3) while perusing over their menu. We were told they developed their vodka, rum and tequila that it was fermented so it has lower alcohol by volume. Intrigued by that and my companion wanted a fruity drink, we ordered the cosmopolitan cocktail – and it was pretty delicious.
Since we did arrive starving, we ordered a large spread and started with the beef carpaccio ($13), buffalo mozzarella caprese ($12), and roasted asparagus ($13) from their brunch section. The carpaccio had paper thin slices of fresh filet mignon topped with refreshingly bitter baby arugula, balsamic, and large, thin slices of Parmigiano Reggiano. The buffalo mozzarella was amazing as it’s a delicate, creamy cheese that was great with the tomatoes and basil. The roasted asparagus were topped with poached eggs, gorgonzola & black truffle cream sauce, roasted peppers, and white truffle oil. It’s the kind of brunch dish I like to have that isn’t too decadent and it had a wonderful balance of sweet, salty, briny and the gently funk of the cheese sauce and truffle oil.
The shrimp wrapped in pancetta ($14) over a bed of stewed white beans were arguably the most popular dish while we were there. The dish arrived in three large prawns (almost the size of my palm). Perfectly cooked though I prefer the pancetta being a crispier, and the creamy white beans were delicious and hearty.
This place is generally known for its pizzas, so we had to try it. We opted to share the Primavera ($15) and Tartufata ($18). These are thin-crusted, 12-inch pies that are both creatively topped and very satisfying. The primavera was a favorite for us. The bright, briny flavors of black olives, artichoke hearts, red onions, and bracing arugula were working together so perfectly. The tartufata had truffle oil wafting from the pizza. The flavors weren’t as robust as the primavera but it is incredibly mushroom-y and the parma cotto ham added some heartiness.
We finished the meal by splitting a tiramisu ($8) composed of creamy mascarpone cream, ladyfingers soaked in rum, generously dusted in cocoa powder and powdered sugar. It’s pretty good – not too sweet and a good balance of espresso and rum flavors.
Overall, it’s a very good spot to grab a beer or drink and have some well made food in a very casual environment.
To view more photos of this meal, please view the slideshow below (or CLICK HERE for my photo set):
Toby’s Public House
86 Kenmare St
New York, NY 10012
Telephone: (212) 274-8629