Monday, July 20, 2009


Danielle and I had dinner at Penelope, her favorite restaurant, last night. It packs a pleasing punch in its small interior. The decor is slightly rustic and warm - wooden benches, pastel paint, chalkboards and dimmed light for evening atmosphere. The service is attentive and pleasant without hovering and they don't mind you lingering to chat even with a small wait outside.

Penelope's offerings are simple but innovative American comfort food at great prices. I wanted to order cheese everything on the menu, no idea why, and managed to convince Danielle to split two cheese filled items with me.

Grilled Three Cheese with swiss, fontina, and white american on sourdough $8.50 for an additional $.50 you can add pesto, tomato or artichoke hearts.
The grilled cheese had cheese running over the edges but was surprisingly bland; the artichoke hearts we added were tasty, but did not add the necessary pop in my opinion. Pesto would probably be the best choice for added flavor. That said the hand-made organic bread and accompanying fries were a perfect, crisp golden brown. The sandwich literally melted in your mouth.

Mac & Cheese baked with fontina and white cheddar, topped with tomato. Served with greens. $9.50
The mac and cheese was much more impressive, although it too needed a touch more salt. It came in the bowl it was, presumably, baked in, and was attractively topped with golden brown crumbs and a thin tomato slice. The contrast of the rich crumbs with the creamy contents was a winner and the cheese, being cheddar, had a better flavor. The salad looked pretty, tasted fine and did a good job of clearing my palate between cheesy bites.

I definitely would go back here given the opportunity. I liked the atmosphere and it is a great deal. Maybe I would even order something without cheese... The only bad part was when some girl knocked her wine glass over spritzing my purse with its contents. There was even prompt cleanup then.

Location: 159 Lexington Ave at 30th Street
Hours: Mon-Sun 8:00a-11:00p
Cost: $$ (Closer to $, Cash Only)

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