One of the great American culinary traditions is to go to a restaurant with friends or family for Sunday brunch. Being in New York over a weekend gave us the opportunity to meet our Brooklyn family (including three grandchildren four and under) in Manhattan for brunch. A nice mid-town restaurant that has excellent food and can well accommodate the younger generation is Landmarc in the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle.
“Time Warner Center is a twin-tower building [whose] design, by David Childs and Mustafa Kemal Abadan of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, consists of two 750 ft (229 m) twin towers bridged by a multi-story atrium containing upscale retail shops. Construction began in November 2000, following the demolition of the New York Coliseum, and a topping-out ceremony was held on February 27, 2003. The property had the highest-listed market value in New York City, $1.1 billion, in 2006. Originally constructed as the AOL Time Warner Center, the building encircles the western side of Columbus Circle and straddles the border between Midtown and the Upper West Side. The total floor area of 260,000 square metres (2,800,000 sq ft) is divided between offices (notably the offices of Time Warner Inc. and an R&D Center for VMware), residential condominiums, and the Mandarin Oriental, New York hotel. The Shops at Columbus Circle is an upscale shopping mall located in a curving arcade at the base of the building, with a large Whole Foods Market grocery store in the basement.” — Wikipedia
The timing of our visit was just one week before the American 3-day holiday weekend commemorating the birthday of Christopher Columbus (Cristóbal Colón, whose statue we previously saw in Seville, Spain — see that blog post), whose statue remains in the center of Columbus Circle across from the new Time Warner Center (top photograph). “The monument at the center of Columbus Circle, created by Italian sculptor Gaetano Russo,was erected as part of New York’s 1892 commemoration of the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ landing in the Americas. Constructed with funds raised by Il Progresso, a New York City-based Italian-language newspaper, the monument consists of a marble statue of Columbus atop a 70-foot (21 m) granite rostral column decorated with bronze reliefs representing Columbus’ ships: the Niña, the Pinta, and the Santa María.” — Wikipedia
Additionally, a plaque notes a dedication “To Christopher Columbus, the, Italians resident in America, scoffed at before, during the voyage, menaced, after it, chained, as generous as oppressed, to the world he gave a world”.
Adjacent to the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle is the Trump International Hotel & Tower with a steel world globe facing the statue of Columbus.
Viewed from the Landmarc restaurant — run by chef Marc Murphy whose debut cookbook is Season with Authority: Confident Home Cooking — the globe shows the New World discovered by Columbus and the ports of call for our ship from August through the new year (the Americas).
Our shared family meal included several outstanding breakfast dishes, particularly Murphy’s favorite, the pain perdu (pictured above). The age-old technique of reviving stale bread slices by dipping them into a milk- egg mixture and frying to a crisp golden brown is known in France as pain perdu (in the U.S., thin individual slices of bread prepared this way are called “French Toast”).
The eggs en meurette consisted of a scramble of eggs, bacon, onions, mushrooms and red wine — an unusual dish that was quite delicious. And of course, for steak lovers, no American breakfast is breakfast without steak and eggs (pictured below), here served with potatoes and a watercress salad. With some orange juice, fresh fruit and cappuccinos, a great start to the day.