the brunch files: mezetto, nyc

i recently helped one of my best friends lindsay find the ideal spot for her 30th birthday brunch. we wound up choosing mezetto, which is a mediterranean corner cafe on the lower east side of manhattan co-owned by bahr rapaport and alon moskovitch. normally (for the sake of the blog) i like to try places i’ve yet to eat – but mezetto is so good that i gave it an exception. i dined here back in 2016 for a dinner with my girlfriends, but this was my first time trying brunch. we were drawn to this place because they have bottomless sangria every evening…. so when linsday requested a delicious, well-priced ‘bottomless’ birthday brunch, i knew i had just the spot.

in addition to their sangria special, of course mezetto does bottomless brunch too. what sets them apart from the ever-growing gang of nyc restaurants that provide this is the fact that mezetto offers $17 bottomless mimosa brunch daily. yes, every day. monday through sunday. ‘weekend brunches’ are a thing of the past when you’re doing it meze-style!

mezetto is tiny, with a cozy and intimate feel – something i value, because i love feeling like my food isn’t being churned out — but rather made with intention and care. rustic tile floors and metallic middle-eastern inspired wallpaper set the tone of the restaurant – casual yet exotic. that ‘famous’ sangria sits visible on the bar top, enticing everyone who glances that way. moroccan lanterns and light fixtures complete what is, visually, a really cute homestyle restaurant. it reminded me very much of the types of places my husband and i would dine in on our honeymoon to turkey. nothing too frilly… mezetto saves that for the food!

it was essential that we begin our meal with some spreads – – so my husband stephen and i opted for the spicy feta and the hummus, both of which came with perfectly seasoned and sliced pitas served on a warm stone slab. they were delicious, and got major points for presentation! we also tried the boneless chicken wings (not pictured) which were outrageously good. i had to remember i was sharing!

when it came to our main courses, a friend of mine got the avocado toast and it was so pretty i just had to take a photo! this dish is served with a poached egg on top, garnished with romesco sauce (nut and red pepper based) and chickpea salsa to give it that mediterranean flair. i, on the other hand, was wild for the shawarma steak hash skillet. the steak is accompanied by fried egg, potatoes, roasted pepper, feta, and harissa sauce, which is a north african hot chili pepper paste. it had just the right amount of substance and spice, and was served in a piping griddle.

no mezetto review would be complete without mentioning the star of the show (in my humble opinion): the falafel buns. everyone who knows me knows that asian food is my weakness, and bao steamed buns are one of my favorite appetizers in existence. mezetto has successfully fused traditional falafel with asian-style steamed buns…. creating a small plate (‘meze’) similar to an order of sliders. the harissa aioli on top offsets the grainy texture of the falafel. the bun is soft, pillowy perfection. i could have had five orders of this and been done.

overall, mezetto is a fantastic place for a group brunch. the staff is accommodating, reservations are easy to make for large groups provided you call in advance. you never get bored with the bottomless mimosas since they come in four flavors (peach, pomegranate, orange and passionfruit). if you’re looking for a casual brunch with an affordable bottomless option, mezetto is the perfect vibe with quality food! follow mezetto on instagram – and follow me, too!

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