I first reviewed Cinquecento after a visit there with my friend Stacey in December. I was a big fan of their dinner and cocktail menu and vowed to go back to try more dishes and drinks.
The New Year has been insanely busy so I had not even thought about it until my very good friend, BosGuy suggested we go there this past snowy, wintery Sunday to try their new brunch menu. As anyone who knows me knows, I never turn down brunch.
Part of the continually growing Aquitaine Group, Cinquecento is located at 500 Harrison in the old Rocca Space close to SoWa.
Walking down Harrison Ave on Sunday morning in the ridiculously side blowing blustery snowy crazy weather, I walked into 500 and was the first to arrive of our group. Not even mentioning the reservation name, my first question was “do I have mascara all over my face?” To which the hostess responded “err yes.” Thank goodness I was the first to arrive. Five minutes later I was remascara’d and waiting for my friends looking fresh and new.
Cinquecento’s main restaurant is at the top of stunning iron staircase, which leads you into the casual bar area hosting a long curvy bar with high seating and surrounded by café tables. The space has a low light glow, which brings a warm, welcoming and almost comely feel. Exposed brick walls with large mirrors, small cozy tables for two, booths for four and larger seating areas for more adds a nice mix to the open plan restaurant. Floor to ceiling pillars filled with Campari bottles gives a bit of separation to the some of tables.
Escorted towards the back of the restaurant I waited for my three brunch companions to arrive. I ordered coffee, good coffee and perused their new brunch menu and what a fun and unique delight this was. No hint of eggs bennie, omelet or French toast. Instead, offerings of spicy broccoli rabe & sausage panino, truffled polenta with poached egg and fontina and something that truly excited me, the roasted mushrooms, pancetta with fried farm egg.
My friends arrived and they were equally as excited about the brunch menu. We ordered coffee and an exciting bread basket so we could spend more time reviewing the menu.
Although, I was trying to be good and didn’t eat anything from the bread basket, I can honestly say I didn’t need to help devouring it. My brunch buddies enjoyed every last fresh crumb. I so badly wanted to try the sugared donut though!
I ordered the roasted mushrooms, pancetta with fried farm egg and ricotta salata. How delightful does that sound? and delightful it was. At first glance I didn’t think it was enough food but the earthiness of the mushrooms, salt from the pancetta, freshness from the egg and creaminess from the ricotta, worked so well together. I enjoyed my dish immensely and realized with the toasted crusty bread, it was more than enough food. One of our fellow brunchers felt the exact same way about this dish.
BosGuy ordered the polenta bianca with poached egg and fontina and here is what he had to say about it from his blog… “The polenta was rich and creamy (even Sergio who doesn’t particularly care for polenta scooped extras) and the poached eggs were cooked to perfection. The crusty Italian bread added a bit of crunch to all that creamy deliciousness.”
My other friend, Sergio couldn’t decide so ordered two different items… a side of the scrambled eggs and the crepes with lemon, ricotta, and honey. I did try the crepes and they were very good, just the right amount of citrus and sweet honey mixed with the ricotta.
I am such a big fan of Cinquecento and now even more so with something different for brunch. I will be back.