By Laura Ramirez
If you live in New York City and feel like you want to retire some place where there is a friendly atmosphere and comforting food, then you need to visit Friend of a Farmer. The restaurant, located just steps from Gramercy Park, makes you feel as if you were in the country. That’s exactly the kind of experience the owners, Terry and Carrie Morabito wanted to create when they opened the restaurant 25 years ago. They wanted to bring to New York City, “the warm country feeling, reminiscent of Terry’s upbringing in a small farming town in upstate New York”.
Colorful baskets of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as a friendly staff welcome you at the door. From the moment you step in, the decoration of the restaurant immediately takes you away from New York City and into a cozy farmhouse. Decked with a floral-print fabric, the walls are covered with country style pans, plates, jars and wicker baskets of all sizes and shapes. The only thing missing to make the country experience more real is a light country breeze.
Even though Friend of a Farmer is most popular for its brunch, I decided to avoid the long weekend lines and grabbed breakfast on a Wednesday morning instead. The restaurant was moderately busy and the friendly waitress sat me in a cozy private room located upstairs.
The menu offers a variety of breakfast favorites such as hot cereals, granola, omelettes and pancakes. The Farmer’s Breakfast omelette ($13) with spinach, sautéed mushroom and cheddar cheese was a good pick. The dish, cooked to perfection, was presented nicely on an iron skillet and it tasted as good as it looked.
As a side order, customers can choose from a selection of toast, potatoes or fruit. I picked the toast, as I heard all baked goods were baked in Friend of a Farmer’s kitchen. The bread did not disappoint. It was fresh and delicious and also presented nicely on a cute plate with two petite jars of butter and jam.
But once I received the check, then I realized I was in the country no more. The prices at Friend of a Farmer are typical of New York brunch hot spots. The small glass of grapefruit (with no refills) cost $4, bumping the price of my breakfast to $20 with tip included. It was not exactly a cheap breakfast but the warm hospitable atmosphere and friendly service made it all worth it.