Penelope offers “[h]eartwarming comfort food just like your mom used to make,” or so their website declares. Well, perhaps we were lucky, because we recall eating far better in our youth. What we found at Penelope was inoffensive food served in a “rustic” cafe that felt like it was designed by a successful if boring restaurant partnership.
The physical space was fine: unfinished wood floors, some tile. At least the space wasn’t live, which was good, but what could have been a relaxing spot was not because the background music was too loud by two or three notches. Loud and bland.
We tried the BBLT, a BLT with double the bacon, and found it forgettable. The french fries were meh. The service was the best thing about the place–it was very good–and the coffee wasn’t bad. But honestly, there is no compelling reason to eat here.
We wandered into Penelope looking for a relaxing lunch and we did not get it. We don’t know dinner would fare, except it probably will be louder. If you are in the neighborhood, are desperately hungry, and can’t find something acceptable nearby, lunch should be tolerable, barely, most days. But if it’s this loud in a half-filled room at lunch, it must be intolerable when fully packed. Proceed with caution.
8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. every day
159 Lexington Avenue (at 30th Street), New York, NY 10016