By Nora Zelevansky / April 21st, 2009


Two words: meatball. salad.  Whoever heard of such a thing?

Well, I've been around the world (or, well, to Murray Hill) and I've returned to report that the mythical creation does in fact exist.

On one particularly cold and rainy day in NYC, I met some work peeps for an impromptu lunch between meetings at Penelope on Lex & 30th.  I'm not gonna lie: I'm not a big Murray Hill fan, as I feel like the hood (which BTW I never remember having a name, while I was growing up) is a bit vanilla bean hold the beans, if you know what I'm saying.  But that was the most convenient meeting point.

On a dreary NYC day, I love a diner.  As a kid, I loved comforting Upper West Side spots like Sarabeth's Kitchen or Popovers (for popovers–duh–with signature strawberry butter and hot apricot punch with cinnamon sticks).  And, as it turns out, Penelope feeds a similar need.



(CLICK TO EXPAND IMAGES: Lentil Soup, BBLT, Penelope's Dining Room & Carrot Cake)

We sat on a wooden banquet, stripped off our coats and ordered away. 
My partners in lunch decided immediately: a BBLT with black pepper balsamic mayo for him (double bacon
is never wrong) and, for her, homemade Lentil Soup (delish–I
sampled!), followed by none other than the signature Arugula with Warm Chicken Meatballs
with pesto vinaigrette and pecorino cheese.


I know I should have probably ordered the Meatball Salad too, as it's their oddish thang, but some magical force pulled me towards the chicken and artichoke sandwich instead (see above).  OMG.  That was a blessing in disguise (or a curse depending on how you think about it) cause now I've got yet another dish to covet ad crave from 3,000 miles away.  The tangy artichokes perfectly cut the chicken's simple flavor (added some "acid" in good ole Top Chef speak).

Lastly, our boy went for the carrot cake, which came with festive little silver sprinkles of happiness on top.

Forgive me, Murray Hill.  I found at least one new thing to recommend you, meatball salad and all.

xo – N.