Saturday I finally made it over to check out Poco, a Spanish restaurant aptly named serving small plates in the East Village. However we went for brunch so it was a bit of a deviation from tapas. I’d been wanting to try out Poco since I’d read so many great reviews and two of my foodie friends loved it, having returned back several times following their initial visit.
Walking in, there’s the main dining area bordered by the bar on the righthand side. Downstairs there was another seating area, which was where they’d placed a large group this particular Saturday. Once seated, we were greeted by a basket of raisin nut bread, muffins, menus, and a genuine smiling server.
Typically not a savory brunch person, I’d still decided when I finally made it there I had to try their lobster mac-n-cheese since, as one friend had put it, “it’ll change your life”. The cheeses were manchego and asiago, a nice strong blend for the dish. For pasta, they’d used shells and the topping? A generous helping of panko, nicely browned. I was pleasantly surprised too to find there was so much lobster in the dish. It was so good that before I knew it, it was all gone. Always a good sign.
A couple of my friends tried the Torta Espanole, their take on a Tortilla Espanola. Their version was a bit more of a straight omelette with the potatoes more secondary. They said it was light and very well done. Another went with the poco cakes, their pancake of the day. Last week? They used Rolos. This week? It was peanut butter M&Ms. These have to be the fluffiest pancakes I’ve ever seen, thick enough that if you did it at home like this (or at least if I did) it would come out a doughy uncooked mess. They were covered with a lightly drizzled dulche de leche sauce. During the cooking process, the M&Ms had melted into little burst of chocolate peanut butter throughout the cakes. These were so good. Next time, I know what I’m trying!
This was definitely one of the best values I’ve seen lately as far as brunch in Manhattan goes. For $22, you could select one of the main dishes and your drink of choice – mimosa, bloody mary or sangria – which was refilled until the bill was signed (nothing “poco” about that!). We weren’t rushed at all, in fact our server jokingly said “no” when we asked him for the bill. Highly recommend. And oh yes. I will be back for sure.
Poco – 33 Avenue B (at East 3rd Street) – 212.228.4461