Start Your Day off with La Dolce Vita- Marcello Recommends: Casa Lever Restaurant on Park Ave

At the helm:  Dining Room Manager, Robin Gustafsson, prepping for another busy day at Casa Lever Restaurant.

Location, location, location! When you have to give someone from Jersey directions and they end with something like, “right next to Park Avenue and 5th,”  life is indeed sweet.    When Penelope Cruz wants to entertain guests like Madonna and your restaurant is chosen , you might be on to something.   When you can combine classic Milanese dishes with cordial hospitality and then adorn your stylish interior with original Warhols for good measure… the result is Casa Lever, a comfortably-chic restaurant that recently added gourmet breakfast selections to their daily offerings.

Since Lever gets their pastries and breads directly from Sant Ambroeus, I did extra laps in the pool the day before our visit so my carbohydrate/caloric intake-guilt wouldn’t spoil the morning’s indulgence.  🙂

Birthday girl, Tamara Simms, with her husband, Jay.  In town from Chicago for a week of Broadway.

The sumptuous feast consisted of a tomato, mozzarella and basil panini, an apple-filled croissant, a plain croissant with assorted jellies for a warm-up, then an order of raisin brioche french toast  with creme anglaise and  raspberry & blueberry slices plus a side of niman ranch smoked bacon for the meal.  All of the above nicely complimented by 2 cups of  tea and a glass of orange-carrot juice blend.   Delicious!

My dining mates were good friends, colleagues and fellow fitness enthusiasts. (Kudos and congrats to Jay Simms from Chicago who ran the Philly marathon last weekend and qualified for Boston...  pretty much the holy grail of all 26.2 challenges.)  Visiting with his lovely wife, Tamara (who was celebrating her birthday with a week of Broadway), Jay ordered some of Lever’s healthier options along with a familiar face to the MMP readers, Mike Walter.

Mike Walter, Robin Gustafsson and Marcello Pedalino in front of an original Andy Warhol painting of Fashio Icon, Giorgio Armani

Mike Walter, Robin Gustafsson and Marcello Pedalino in front of an original Andy Warhol painting of Fashion Icon, Giorgio Armani

They enjoyed the Golden Granola with yogurt, (organic oates, honey, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, cashews, pumpkin seeds and coconut), the Uova al Tegamino, (sunny-side up organic eggs, crispy applewood bacon and crostini), and Uova Tirolese,  (poached egg, hollandaise sauce, tirolian speck and spinach).  They were very pleased with their meals as well.

We drove in and found a convenient parking garage right up the block.  After breakfast and some of the best shopping in the world-  Radio City Music Hall and the likes of Rockefeller Center are just a short (people-watchers dream) walk away.

So whether you are just waking up and don’t feel like preparing a gourmet breakfast, looking for an impressive table to do some serious business over lunch or are in need of a meeting location with panache (there is a semi-private area in the back of the restaurant that features a drop-down screen and can accommodate up to 20 people),  or are fortunate to be celebrating a special occasion with discerning dinner guests… Casa Lever should be on your dolce vita-radar.  -mp

390 Park Avenue at 53rd,  New York City, NY 10022 (on facebook)

Contact:  Robin Gustafsson, @ 212-888-2700 or

Debbie Pettersson, @ 212-207-6680  ext. 151

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