By: Vitjitua Ndjiharine
It is not typical to walk in a Manhattan restaurant and be carried away to the farm. Friend of a Farmer, a cozy eatery nestled between a coffee and tea bar and a dry cleaner on Irving Place, has an atmosphere that creates a sweet escape to the country.
In a city full of busy streets and busy people who all have places to go and people to meet, it is refreshing to find a restaurant that pays homage to the simple self-sufficient life-style of a farmer. The floral wallpaper, pots and pans, wicker baskets containing fruit, a pitchfork and shovel displayed on the walls. Everything is meticulously planned- there is even placard telling you to “live simply”-to make the restaurant feel like a farmhouse.
The breakfast menu has a variety of delicious meals and drinks made with fresh local ingredients-granola, porridge, pancakes and many omelette options-all at not exactly student-friendly, but reasonable prices. One look at the menu however, the Gramercy and Irving Place omelettes and the expensive espresso drinks imported from Italy, is an instant reminder that Friend of a Farmer is of course a big city based restaurant, despite the country décor; a restaurant that is a cross between country comfort and New York City flair.
When the food arrived, an omelette served in a skillet and a bowl of fruit on the side, nothing seemed to matter. Not the décor or the prices on the menu. The working farmer omelette, a $16 yellow mountain of eggs stuffed with ham, bacon, mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes, onions, broccoli and 2 different cheeses, was enough to feed 2 people. Despite the array of ingredients no flavor overpowered another. The crispiness of the bacon was balanced but the soft mushrooms and spinach; the savory tomatoes counteracted the sweetness of ham and onions.
It was a well-rounded meal, fit to fuel a farmer before a long day of hard work.
Friend of a Farmer 212-477-2188
77 Irving Place (between 18th and 19th St.)
Open Monday-Thursday 8:00am-10:00pm, Friday 8:00am-11:00pm
Saturday 9:30am-11:00pm and Sunday 9:30am-10:pm