Vinateria

This eatery in Harlem is a little bit off the beaten path for me.  I don't usually venture that far uptown for food.  Since this place has become one of the go-to places for a foodie friend of mine, I thought I should check it out. 

I liked the energy and vibe of the place almost immediately after entering the imposing black doors. The space was light-filled and airy, lively but not chaotic. I was able to get a seat at the bar and have my morning coffee before my friends arrived. 

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The brunch menu had all the usual brunch items.  I liked that brunch items automatically include coffee/tea and orange juice/mimosa/bloody mary. 

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Not sure how I got talked into ordering the Steak and Eggs  I was surprised to see such an enormous portion. The steak was a bit overcooked, but very tender and juicy nonetheless. It was a very yummy dish. Definitely the thing to order if you are hungry!

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I had a bite of my friend's French Toast. It tasted as good as it looked. I would totally come back and order this. 

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My other friend's burger looked ridiculously decadent! 

 The french burger with Caramelized onions, Bacon, Mustard Sauce, White Cheddar

The french burger with Caramelized onions, Bacon, Mustard Sauce, White Cheddar

On my second visit, I got the Porchetta sandwich.  Since the sandwich was topped with a fried egg, it counts as breakfast in my book.  The pork was nice and juicy, but not super flavorful. I did like the aioli sauce on the toasted bread.

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Believe it or not, we actually found room in our stomachs for dessert!  This Olive Oil Cake was my friends' favorite dessert item. I liked the combination of the Olive Oil Cake with kumquat.  The citrus of the kumquat balanced out the richness of the olive oil nicely. The sesame seed ice-cream, on the other hand, was a bit of a miss for me. I liked the sesame ice-cream fine, I just didn't think the flavor went with the cake well. 

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This house made blueberry and orange sorbet was my favorite. It was icy, refreshing, and the intensity of the fruit really shines through. Excellent palate cleanser and a great way to end the meal. 

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Verdict: A; Comfortable space, friendly service, good price, and not hard to get a reservation….all good reasons to check this place out if you are in the neighborhood. 

Venateria
2211 Frederick Douglass Blvd (@119th Street)
http://www.vinaterianyc.com