I stopped by Nicole Taylor’s the other day to pick up some fresh pasta and remembered that they are now doing lunch in their back room—I didn’t really know what to expect but it is actually a super cute room back there—they have a couple of communal tables and then a couple of tables for four. You can also see the little room where they make the pasta. You order at the front counter and they deliver your food to you in the back.
On the day I was there, there were three sandwiches, three pastas, a couple of soups and a salad. We split the fried mortadella sandwich ($9.50) with melty robiola cheese and onion jam on the thin sliced bread. It’s a proper grilled Panini and it was very good. They are quite large—so the soup and half sandwich is a very good option. We just wanted to each have our own half as well as trying other things. But you can’t really go wrong with a fancy fried bologna sandwich.
We also had a cup of the soup of the day—the onion soup ($4.50). It was a broth-based soup—it was French onion in flavor, although without the bread and cheese. I really enjoyed it though—it was lighter than I was expecting and had lots of soft caramelized onions. It was a nice break from the rich and cheesy taste of the other items. I would eat the soup again as a counterbalance to the richness.
We also shared one of the pasta dishes. It was penne with peas and prosciutto in a heavy cream/garlic/parmesan sauce. There were some toasty breadcrumbs on top. I enjoyed the crunch and texture variation from the breadcrumbs, but I can’t say I loved this pasta. It was just so kind of one-dimensional. There was a lot of cream, and I can’t say there was much more to it. I would have loved some acid somehow. Maybe some lemon zest in the crumbs or something. Looking back, we probably should have gone with the dish that had lobster and capers—at least I know it would have a bit of a briny kick. The pasta itself at Nicole Taylor’s is lovely and they certainly know how to cook it just right so it doesn’t get mushy or anything.
Also, after looking at the sample menu on the website, I would kill for the egg and asparagus sandwich with lemon oil (yay! acid!) or the pasta with a poached egg on top. It’s a place I definitely need to go back to.
Have you guys been yet? Would love to hear your thoughts.
Nicole Taylor’s Back Room Eatery
1134 East 54th Street