On our way to re-visit The High Line one morning, we breakfasted at The Wild Son in the Meatpacking District and had a fabulous meal. Many items on the menu are gluten-free, making selection easy. I had the Buckwheat Pancakes with fresh berries served with warm honey butter (and maple syrup on request). It was so delicious and filling, there was no need for lunch. My husband was very pleased with his Blueberry Corn Waffles with warm honey butter and housemade clabber cream, and the fresh juice drink To My Health with spinach, celery, pineapple and orange. We both enjoyed their expertly made coffee drinks.
The next day we had just enough time for lunch down the street from the inn at Casa Mono, a Spanish restaurant/bar co-owned by Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich and Nancy Selzer. We took our chances and walked in without reservations. We were seated quickly inside the cozy space with mosaic tile floors and floor to ceiling windows overlooking Irving Place. The menu from Executive Chef Andy Nusser focuses on small shared raciones--appetizers or entrees--inspired by Spain's Costa Brava. We started with Ensalada Mono with manchego, pimentón and spiced marcona almonds. The salad was refreshing and well seasoned. Next up was Melon with Jamon, which had perfectly ripened melon with a touch of sweetness; a nice contrast to the savory crisp ham. For entrée we shared the Scallops with mango, cucumber, basil and chorizo oil, a beautifully executed dish with sweet, perfectly cooked scallops. We also had the daily special Smoked Trout with potatoes, capers and parsley. This was a heartier dish with great flavor from the smokey trout. For dessert we couldn't resist Helado de Azafrán which is saffron ice cream with fresh spiced mango chutney, dried golden fruits, honey and olive oil. I will dream about that saffron ice cream for a while; that and our next trip to New York.