Mostly known for its popular, line-forming brunch, Penelope in Murray Hill also serves lunch (and dinner for that matter!).
I've actually tried on several occasions (pre-food blog era) to have brunch at Penelope with no luck...mostly because my friends and I just couldn't wait that long to stuff our faces the morning after a night out in NYC! However, they have added a new convenience to those who live in the area where you can put your name down and get a text message when your table is almost ready. Woohoo, technology!
Anyway, I ventured over to Penelope on my lunch break last week to check out their exciting-sounding lunch menu. The first thing I noticed was how quaint the dining room was with its windows opening up right to the corner of 30th and Lexington.
I started off with their Deliciousness on Toast--a thick piece of toast with creamy ricotta spread on top and topped off with some shaved brussels sprouts and truffle--although the truffle was not very pronounced:
Also as an appetizer, I tried their Old School Mac + Cheese, which was very generous on the ratio of cheese to noodles with a slightly crunchy toasted breadcrumb topping:
Their Nice Chicken Meatballs sandwich with melted fontina, tomato and pesto mayo is served on a hollowed out baguette (woo, save some carbs!). The bread was my favorite part of this dish--really crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside:
The Turtle Cove Lobster Roll boasts fresh lobster meat tossed in a light lemon-mayo. First, I think you should only do a lobster roll if the lobster is fresh, you're using large pieces, and you don't overwhelm the meat with the sauce. Penelope checked all those boxes. Furthermore, I liked that they naturally paired the lobster with a buttery roll--which gives a nod to the melted butter lobster is typically served with!
Although not pictures, the french fries were absolutely perfect--hand cut with a deep brown color, yet soft and perfectly salty. Yum! Love a good french fry. And Penelope has one of my favorite brand's of all-natural Ketchup (Sir Kensington's).
Overall, from the decor to the food, you really feel like your sitting down in your own kitchen getting served up lunch from your mom. The portion sizes of all their entrees were large enough to take home leftovers. I'd say that the deliciousness on toast and chicken meatball sandwich could've benefited from more seasoning but the lobster roll was fresh. Lastly, the staff was very friendly and attentive, which always makes for a better dining experience!
Check out Penelope's brunch, lunch or dinner:
159 Lexington Avenue (Corner of 30th Street)