When Westchester’s too far for a power breakfast at a Cheesecake Factory, there’s Norma’s(119 West 56th Street, 212-708-7460) at Le Parker Meridien, the hotel’s upscale, upstairs, daytime dining room where the biggest challenge isn’t whether to spend $28 on Nutella-packed flapjacks, or $1000 on a lobster frittata plied with more than a half pound of caviar, but whether you can possibly finish them.
But Norma’s doesn’t just cater to dramatic cravings, it also serves up classic dishes in dramatic doses and poses — case in point their classic potato pancakes, which saddle a pile of crisp and fluffy latkes, shredded then tenderly fried, with a monument of potato straws that can shame your table’s floral centerpiece and provide a crunchy veil to hide behind while sifting through the accompanying green salad, which features a whole, hollowed apple overflowing with a sweetened Indian carrot puree, each slice glazed with a swipe of tart cranberry-apple sauce. Unlike the Cheesecake Factory, there are no desserts on the menu here — unless cheesecake-stuffed French toast served a la mode counts — but you’ll also never blow a deal by being that guy who orders a slice of low-carb cake with strawberries.
The Village Voice is counting down to our Best of New York City issue in October. We’re combing the city every day, one dish at a time, to guide you to the most delicious food in NYC. These are our 100 Favorite Dishes for 2015, in no particular order, save for the top 10. To read about previous dishes, browse our 100 Favorite Dishes page.