Poco is a tapas bar nestled inside Alphabet City. Since I was going to Poco for my friend’s birthday celebration on a weekend, I was excited and ready for their brunch menu, which included the option of UNLIMITED drinks along with the entree for either a 1.5 hour or 3 hour time limit. The price varies depending on the time limit that you choose. Sadly, the unlimited drinks don’t cover the whole drinks menu, but it includes red/white sangria, mimosas, and bloody mary’s. Excited and hungry after browsing through their menu before my arrival, I walked into Poco a bit surprised by how “poco” it was. Although the restaurant had a good amount of tables fitting about 10 to 12 parties, the space felt rather tight with the crowd and the confining interior design. Booths hugged the walls on one side of the restaurant while a bar lined the length of the opposite wall, making only a meager amount of space for a row of tables squeezed between the support beams in the middle of the room.
As one of my friends was running late, Poco was kind enough to seat us a couple of minutes later so that we could postpone the start of our 1.5 hour time limit. To my amusement, we were literally seated in the corner of the restaurant. Our table was tucked in the small space between the side of the bar and the wall. As the backs of my two friends could literally touch the bar, the bartender naturally also doubled as our server. The positive side to this was quick access to our drinks and the bartender.
Most of us ordered the unlimited drinks option along with our entrees. I tried the white sangria and the mimosa. Although the drinks didn’t taste very delicious or seem very strong, the restaurant was quick to refill. Oddly, my white sangria seemed to only contain oranges as the fruit base rather than a medley of fruits. It felt like I was drinking an orange juice cocktail, but who can complain about an unlimited drink option that only cost $10 for 1.5 hours?
The brunch menu is composed of the typical American brunch selections with some Spanish twists, such as including chorizo in the dish rather than a regular sausage. For food, I ordered the truffle mushroom omelet, which came along with a mesclun salad and potato hash on the side. The omelet was satisfactory but unremarkable; the truffle oil flavor was noticeable in the middle of the omelet.The potato hash had a nice crisp on the outside. My friends also ordered the lobster mac and cheese, lobster benedict, and two eggs any style. I tried a bite of the lobster mac and cheese, which was fantastic. The shell pasta was melted with cheese made from a three-cheese blend with big chunks of lobster and topped with crunchy panko. The cheese flavor did not distract from the lobster and you could still taste the freshness of the seafood. For the two eggs any style, they don’t offer the eggs hard-boiled so keep that in mind if you’re thinking of getting that. Since we went there for weekend brunch, the dishes were served in regular portion sizes, rather than tapas-size.
Overall, the service was good and the atmosphere was lively, albeit a little cramped. The food was decent, but nothing spectacular enough for me to go back for more. Also, please note that the restaurant is CASH ONLY, so make sure to check your wallet before you go or else you might end up washing dishes…
33 Avenue B
New York, NY 10009