Gran Tivoli is one of those places that is more of an evening spot, but it’s worth visiting during the quieter brunch hours. The brunch menu is a lot more interesting than the typical pancakes and eggs set list. You have some of that, but there’s also excellent grain bowls and hearty, Italian dishes like pasta and lamb shoulder. So whatever mood you’re in, whether you want to nibble on some charcuterie, or you want to dig into a huge sandwich, there’s something to fit your mood here, and it will taste great.
Ordering fresh mozzarella for brunch is not something I would normally do. For dinner, definitely, but not brunch. And normally I would have it melted on a breakfast pizza or something like that. The shakeup in routine really did pay off, though. The prosciutto and mozzarella were excellent, and what was even better was the accompanying lard bread, which was fresh and hot right off the griddle. It tasted like an unsweetened Korean hotteok pancake, which is one of my favorite street snacks ever, and as you would have expected, eating this really made my day.
As if we couldn’t have enough bread, we also ordered a bread basket, which was not filled with your run-of-the-mill sourdough rolls. There was focaccia topped with roasted potatoes, more lard bread filled ham, breadsticks and these balls of dough covered in a layer of grains. The potato focaccia was by far the highlight.
We ordered the steak sandwich, which again, is not something that pops up on the brunch roster. If you’re into French dip sandwiches or Philly cheesesteaks, then this will be right up your ally. The most traditional brunch dish that we had was the eggs florentine, and usually, this is not that exciting of a dish, but the crab and spinach mix was light, lemony and zesty, and the hollandaise sauce was not overwhelmingly rich. It all was soaked up beautifully by a brioche loaf.
Their wildcard breakfast bowl seemed a bit out of place in a classic Italian restaurant. You’d expect something like this at The Butcher’s Daughter or Sweetgreen, but not necessarily here. But this was a surprisingly strong dish. I was skeptical seeing all the bright looking vegetables and rice in there, but once I started picking at it, I couldn’t stop. The only drawback of this place is that it’s pretty quiet at lunch, but if that means it’s easier to get a table for a group and share a nice communal meal, then that’s fine by me.
406 Broome St (between Cleveland Pl and Lafayette St)
New York, NY 10013