It’s no secret that it’s easier to get a table at popular eateries if you have fewer people. Four people or less is recommended. Two is ideal. One is best. But, to me, brunch is a meal that isn’t as fun when eaten alone. Fortunately, a friend was available to visit Penelope with me. Despite the long brunch hours – from 8AM to 4PM – Penelope still can’t take all the hungry New Yorkers fight to get a table. And it’s pretty packed in there. Even more so than Good Enough to Eat.
Arriving pretty late in the day, around 11:30AM, we ended up waiting almost two hours for a table at the back counter for two. Be warned as well: they’ll stop taking names if they know they’re going to have enough capacity until 4PM, so definitely get your name down for a table before 2PM or even 1PM. So was the wait worth it?
For the most part, yes. There’s a prix-fixe brunch menu at Penelope. For $18, you get an entrée and a mimosa, bellini, coffee/tea, or juice. There’s also an a la carte menu if nothing catches your eye. My friend ordered the Salmon Wrapped Poached Eggs, which are served on top of toasted black bread and a salad on the side. The bread was very much on the toasted side, but the addition of both salmon and ham was pretty generous. The eggs were poached perfectly.
I ordered the Punkin’ Waffles which came with appled butter, baked apples, and a sprinkling of cranberries and toasted walnuts. It was like autumn hit me in the face – and I was happy about it. I really appreciated that all the apple toppings were served separately. I really don’t like when pancakes and waffles are already slathered in butter or sauces for you. Also notice that it’s appled butter not apple butter. Both are delicious, but sometimes you need good old butter and not the healthy stuff on your breakfast.
I really enjoyed eating brunch at Penelope. It was pretty cramped and loud inside, and the pace of the service varies, but the food was really good. The drinks were terrible, though; very watered down. My suggestion would be to go for the coffee or juice. If you’re looking for a quiet brunch, I don’t think that Penelope would be a smart choice, but I certainly wouldn’t mind eating those waffles again.
159 Lexington Ave
New York, NY 10016