Before heading out to the Big Apple, I did a little research to make sure I hit some of the haunts I have seen showcased on Food Network. I am fan of the show “Best Thing I Ever Ate,” and had seen Alex G. relishing some decadent french toast at famed Norma’s at Le Parker Meridien. The dish was Chocolate Decadence French Toast, and it was calling my daughter’s name for breakfast.
Norma’s was a short walk from our hotel and amazingly, there was no wait when we arrived. The dining room was posh, old New York glamour and the plates filling the tables looked scrumptious and bountiful. Our waiter came over with three shot glasses filled with the smoothie of the day: mango- pineapple- banana. I could have just drank smoothies all day; they were that good! Our waiter also had a carafe of fresh squeezed orange juice which he generously plied us with. We knew what we wanted so there was no messing around with the menu. Unfortunately, they were out of the duck hash and eggs my husband and I had been salivating over. We decided on the Huevos Rancheros instead, as well as the Artychoked Benedict and the Chocolate Decadence French Toast.
While we enjoyed our french-pressed coffee, I took a look around at the fare the other diners were enjoying. The omelets were fluffy and generous, the lox plate looked fresh and piled high- New York style. Fresh smoothies littered the tables and I was getting hungry. Fortunately, our food arrived quickly.
The smell of truffle oil rolled off the benedict and filled my nose and the french toast was monstrous. The huevos were my least favorite on the table. They were good, but not great. They needed some spice and less quesadilla garnish. The benedict was my fave! The artie was briny and a nice foil for the rich truffle porcini sauce. The french toast was a hot with my daughter, but I felt it was more of a dessert than breakfast. It was thick slices of what seemed to be chocolate poundcake, battered and grilled and then layered with strawberries, chocolate sauce and whipped cream. It was delicious, but maybe too much for breakfast. The pistachio garnish did lend a nice texture balance and a little salty to go with the sweet.
Overall, it was a decadent New York breakfast in a stylish dining venue. It is pricey so beware, but worth the trip at least once while in New York. I can’t say I agree with Alex G.’s assessment of the french toast, but Norma’s is a must while in NYC- especially if you are fueling up for a full day of walking.