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Food: Best Breakfast

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No, she's not offering anything as mundane as two eggs over easy. But Norma's (118 West 57th Street; 708-7460), in the Parker Meridien Hotel, served the most astonishingly original, stylish, and indulgent breakfast in this city. Granted, the décor may seem a bit too frosty an environ for beginning the day. But a cup of fresh-pressed coffee and two bites of fruit focaccia from Ecce Panis warms the landscape in moments. After that, a bend-over-backwards-while-smiling staff can offer you such unexpected delights as succulent and spiky Hudson Valley–duck–confit hash and eggs, rich Granny Smith–apple and red-pear crêpes, sprightly twisted shrimp atop an egg-white frittata with golden tomato and spinach, and sweet-potato pancakes with sausage dense as a juicy burger. And if the thought of sumptuous orange-ricotta griddle cakes, gravlax Napoléon, or an icy, invigorating blast of smoothie is more than you can handle with sleep still in the corner of your eye, Norma's has a great solution: You can have breakfast until 3 p.m. Frankly, it probably beats most of your favorite lunch spots too.


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