At one time, at least, it was said to be common for New York bigshots to do important meetings over breakfast. Those of us who wake up palsied and uncertain find this inconceivable. But if you have to meet someone for breakfast, here are some spots that won't overwhelm your still-dodgy consciousness.
Pastis is Balthazar's Meatpacking cousin, and while it has the same classic brasserie menu as its sister, the vibe and feel is completely different. Where Balthazar is all noise and excitement, Pasis, even when busy (and it gets really busy) is leisurely and low key. A perennial brunch favorite, it's also great for late night dinners.
There's one reason to go to Almondine: the croissants. These are the best in the city, and one of them, with a hot cup of coffee, might be the perfect hangover breakfast. It's way downtown though, so really only useful if you happen to be in the financial district.
Just a perfect restaurant. The food is superior, if not great; the room is sunny and electric, and the lunch, dinner, and dessert programs are all equally perfect. The ultimate Manhattan casual Italian restaurant.
Chic and swank in an intensely West Village way, this tiny restaurant has been swarmed with beau monde types since it opened. The food is excellent if not amazing, but extremely comforting. Breakfast is the best time to go if you want to experience the place minus the stress and din.
April Bloomfield broke out of The Spotted Pig's gastropub mold in this equally robust but more ambitious eatery.
If you love the "three Ps" of Roman cooking -- pork, pecorino, and pepper -- you will love Maialino, which is uniquely dedicated to that flavor profile. Danny Meyer's Italian restaurant has the usual flawless service and a big, sunny room at Breakfast with its own wonderful menu.
Studiedly casual, and with a menu that could best be described as high lardcore, Peels is an oasis of southern food with a real downtown vibe. It gets busy at night but for breakfast or lunch it's a great place to meet or just unwind.
Michael White's venture in haute provencal cuisine -- some Italian, some French -- is a culinary triumph, albeit in a somewhat sterile city. The room is big and quiet though, and makes a great spot for an elegant, sunlit breakfast.
Forget about the name -- the connection to the original Veselka is tenuous at best. This is a high-ceilinged, spacious, sunny and relaxed resaurant on a quiet street in the east village, and serves a menu of American food with a few Eastern European inflections. The breakfast is especially relaxing.