I’m back!  I do apologize for the delay in postings, dear readers, as I failed to bring you any April content, despite my busy eating schedule. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy my Mother’s Day eating adventures documented below.  Back on schedule and bon appetit!

Mom and dad came into town to support me as I sang in two concerts over the weekend. Of course the weekend wouldn’t be complete without celebratory eating occasions for and with mom.

Our first stop for Sunday brunch was a hidden gem, Dardanel, at 1071 First Avenue (between 58th and 59th Streets). While near the busy Queensboro Bridge, the airy ambiance of the restaurant transported me to an island in Greece. The booths are outfitted in white leather and the restaurant includes several murals reminiscent of the view by the strait that connects the Black and Mediterranean seas.  The decor is my favorite type of interior design – simple and clean.


Interestingly enough, Dardanel has been 2011 Zagat Rated as well as written up in the Daily News and The New York Times, so I was sincerely surprised that we were one of the only tables in the restaurant.  But the food certainly lived up to its merits.

We started off with appetizers of hummus, cheese rolls and the falafel, perfect for whetting our appetite for the main courses. We paired the starters with Angora, a Turkish white wine that’s clean and smooth. When I informed the waiter I’d never had Turkish wine he wasn’t too surprised as he said it’s popular in Europe, but for some reason has been picked up in the states. Consider it a treat when you see it on the menu!

Cheese rolls



For the main courses, Mom chose the Chicken Kebabs. I opted for the Chicken Adana which is pre-marinated hand-chopped chicken blended with cayenne pepper and East Antolian herbs, served with Turkish rice pilaf and mixed grilled vegetables. Dad chose the Pan Seared Tilapia. According to the website, Dardanel’s fish is imported daily from the Mediterranean region, so there’s no doubt you’re paying for quality.

Chicken Adana

Pan Seared Tilapia

For dessert, we enjoyed a traditional baklava and a milk custard.

While only a few hours went by, it was then time for dinner, and I chose a staple, Per Lei, at 1347 Second Avenue and 71st Street, also apropos for Mom as Per Lei means “for her” in Italian.  The service is always top-notch and the food is outstanding.  For mom’s day, they offered a special Lobster Linguine, so neither mom nor I could pass it up.

Lobster Linguine

And since we were still somewhat full from brunch earlier, we opted to split the Insalata di Spinaci Novelli all’ aceto, Gorgonzola, Macadamia, Lamponi e Pancetta (Baby Spinach, Macadamia nut, Gorgonzola, Raspberry and crispy Pancetta). Say that five times fast.

Insalata di Spinaci

While we didn’t save room for dessert, having dined here previously I can highly recommend the dark chocolate lava cake with coconut gelato.

Only in Manhattan can you experience Greece and Italy in the same day. Love you mom!


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One Response to “Brunching”

  1. Jim Says:

    The painting on the wall at Dardanel is beautiful!

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