Well, we are somewhat behind on writing up our restaurant experiences here in NYC. We're waiting on a menu from Per Se , detailing our particular tasting. They promised to mail it to us a week ago and we're still waiting. WD-50 where we unwittingly witnessed the chaos of the night before Valentine's Day will (hopefully) be posted soon, along with several other places where we have nibbled along the way.
Last Saturday we had lunch at Five Points . We arrived early, as seems to be our weekend habit and after a slight scuffle over a parking space, Alex got caught trying to lift up the back of a vintage VW Bug and move it forward a few inches so he could fit into the space behind, we walked into the bustling restaurant. Although they understandably couldn't seat us until closer to our reservation time we were lucky enough to find three stools at the bar. While my aunt and I sipped variations on the classic Bellini made with ginger and orange rind, and passion fruit respectively, Alex had a surprisingly small but good cappuccino. I say surprisingly simply because the cozy feel of the place at brunch makes you think of big, steaming bowls of coffee as opposed to a regular cup.
When we arrived at the table we were offered a round of drinks on the house. Auntie opted for a Virgin Mary while Alex and I decided to try their version of Planter's Punch. We are both quite picky about our punch and this one was excellent. We took the opportunity to order some churros and hot chocolate while we perused the menu. The churros were gorgeous, long and crispy, incredibly light and almost creamy in the center, freshly fried and dusted with sugar crystals. We played with them like children, dipping them into the hot chocolate and pulling them apart with our fingers. They were fun and delicious and no one should go to brunch there without ordering them.
For her first course my aunt had cauliflower soup. Cauliflower is one of her new favorites as a puree and she was very happy to see the soup listed as a special. It was very flavorful, creamy and redolent of cauliflower without being heavy or cloying. I had the market salad with warm goat cheese which was exactly as it should have been. Alex began with a grilled hangar steak salad with buttermilk blue cheese dressing. His steak was perfectly cooked and the salad was simple and tasty.
For our entrees, my Aunt had a fritatta made with wild mushrooms and cheese. The fritatta itself was surprisingly thin as we are used to seeing the thicker, Italian style and Auntie enjoyed it very much. Alex had the baked eggs with brioche, spinach and smoked salmon. His feeling was that the casserole was too large, allowing the eggs to spread out and overcook. The brioche, which was also resting in the casserole dish was soggy and to his mind a smaller casserole dish would allow the eggs to set perfectly with the (still crispy) toast served on the side. Aside from these minor observations, he enjoyed the dish. The saltiness of the salmon was a nice contrast to the buttery spinach and eggs. I had the turkey pot pie, down home comfort food for the day before a storm. The crust was controversial at our table. It was a thin layer of what I think was lemon pepper biscuit dough. It was flavorful and a bit sandy in texture. I thought it worked, but I would have preferred something with less seasoning and a lighter texture to let the filling shine through more. Alex didn't think it worked at all. The filling was scrumptious, chunks of turkey and vegetables in a lightly thickened gravy. There appeared to be a touch of cream in the filling but it was definitely not a cream sauce. Unfortunately, by the time entrees arrived I was getting full so I wasn't able to do it justice.
We skipped dessert, as no one had any room left. The room was still crowded when we left but it was a well handled busyness. The staff was very gracious and accommodating and the atmosphere in the restaurant was definitely a positive one. The food was toothsome, well presented and very reasonably price. There's a reason why this place is a New York staple and I'm sure that we will be back there again.
*If you want to attempt the churros at home, Marc Meyer, the chef at Five Points has a cookbook, Brunch, 100 Recipes from Five Points Restaurant. It's a fun book and there are some interesting recipes in it, especially if you like a leisurely breakfast.