Saturday, November 8, 2008
Ok, I know I this isn't a new restaurant review, but when I found myself at Myrtle and Waverly this morning, I didn't feel like hunting about for something new. I actually first sought out Maggie Brown, but it was pretty crowded (no surprise there), and I wanted something a little more, well, sedate. Across the street I journeyed to our new friends at Anima. I was recently here for dinner, and I've also ordered delivery from them. I had yet to stop in for brunch, so that's what I did today, remembering the recommendation of Myrtle Shuffle.
I had originally thought I'd pop in quickly for a brunchetta or something else light and quick, but upon browsing the menu something caught my eye with three key words: frittata, mushrooms, and goat cheese. Ok, that's four words. I have a hard time resisting anything with goat cheese. There's something about the teats of those mangy omnivores that really speaks to me, I suppose.
I started with coffee and a bloody mary, and both were good if not excellent. Bad coffee can be a death knell for any restaurant, especially for brunch, and thankfully Anima doesn't succumb to such travesties. While the coffee isn't as good as abistro, it's good enough. Same with the bloody mary - not as good as Olea, but pretty great all the same.
The frittata itself was exactly what I was hoping for. My impressions of Anima so far have leaned towards "sold if unspectacular," and this was no exception. You're not going to get a work of art when you eat here, but you are going to get pretty good food in ample portions. The dish comes with fries and some greens, which were passable but nothing to write home about. I wish they'd do something more interesting than fries, to be honest. Abistro again would be a good example - their spicy home fries are pretty great, and Anima could do something similar with an Italian bent that would make things a bit more interesting without costing anything more. It is what it is, though, and it's not bad. The frittata itself was tasty, and with ample amounts of both goat cheese and mushrooms, mush to my delight.
I didn't plan on staying for dessert, but the charming waitress talked me into it, and I ended up with the creme brulee, which I think is Anima's attempt at doing something a little off the beaten path. It's actually three mini creme brulees, each a slightly different variation. You get your standard brulee along with an almond and citrus version to either side. Three remicans and three spoons as well! Honestly, there wasn't much difference between each one, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. I know I'm sounding like a broken record with this place, but this, like everything else, was solid but not great. But it's also not overly expensive, and I'd definitely have it again, which I suppose counts for a lot.
If you're hungry for brunch but don't feel like braving crowds, Anima is an excellent choice. They also offer free wi-fi, something a lesson every brunch restaurant could stand to learn.
458 Myrtle Ave