The Rich Man’s Olive Garden: Morandi Review

Morandi: 7.5/10

Food: 3 / 4

Service: 1.75 / 3

Atmosphere: 2.75 / 3

Morandi is a West Village rustic Italian restaurant from NYC’s restaurateur mastermind, Keith McNally. (RIP Pastis!) Despite our token hangovers, we were able to make it here for brunch on Sunday.

Clad in rustic décor, this restaurant's Italian vibe comes through LOUD and CLEAR. (Kind of like the noisy conversation from the table next door.) Needless to say, this place kind of just feels like a rich man's Olive Garden. The décor is far from subtle, but we don't hate it.

We were seated promptly, which was surprising since this must be one of the few restaurants on the planet that still uses a pen and paper to manage reservations. It's just sooo fucking RUSTIC! 

The sidewalk café gets an A for prime West Village people watching, but was unfortunately cursed with scaffolding (i.e., the equivalent of dining under a bridge).

Instagram friendly:

Inside, yes. Outside, not at this moment because of the scaffolding. 

Is there a chance you'll run into a celebrity?

Definitely. This place is constantly featured in Page Six celeb sightings. Most recently: Cameron Diaz, Anna Wintour, Olivia Wilde, Jon Hamm, Justin & Selena (!!!!). The list could go on forever.

Bread worth the carbs?

Not from the bread basket, but the carbs that accompanied our appetizers were fantastic.

Shoe situation:

No need to dress up for the club, but look West Village chic. Try to look as if Mary-Kate got dressed wearing only Ashley's clothing. 

Good for: Brunch.

Neighborhood: West Village.

Price: $$$

The crowd

Brunching betches, celebrities, babies on iPads, old people, hot dads.

The food

Minestrone Alla Genovese: Classic vegetable soup with pesto. There is nothing more fantastic than a classic Italian minestrone soup. Whenever it is on a menu, it is ordered.

Caprese Flatbread: As pretty as it looks, the bread was no good- the tomatoes were extremley fresh, and who doesn't like balls of cheese?

Cavatappi all Norma: corkscrew pasta with tomato, roasted eggplant & mozzarella. This dish looked phenomenal in the bowl. Unfortunately, we burned our mouth on the first bite.

Frittata: The Italian omelet with seasonable vegetables hit the spot for some light egg brunching. Available with and without egg whites. 

The Iced Coffee

Not too acidic. A+! Did not refill my cup, not okay on a brunch day.

Restaurant Info

211 Waverly Pl
New York, NY 10014

(212) 627-7575


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