for a small-town girl who grew up in a town with multiple farms (yes, i used to ride my bike down the road to feed carrots to the horses) and a barn in her backyard, sometimes finding a little country livin’ in this big ol’ city just warms my heart.

"let me fawn all over you for the 2.3 minutes it takes me to remember why i moved to the big city."

okay, so i’m not at all tempted to leave NYC for country life again anytime soon…but i’ll admit, there’s a quaint charm about its simplicity and solitude, its open fields and bright-starred skies that will always hold a special place in my wanderlust heart.

so when post-church Sunday brunch found me at the country-house styled restaurant Friend of a Farmer this weekend (any web designers out there want to help them with this monstrosity of a website?), i couldn’t have been more delighted. for that one meal, i was transported far from the concrete craziness of the city and into a rustic, romanticized ideal of a Victorian country farmhouse, complete with Autumnal decorations and a banistered staircase. i never expected to find a place like this nestled right in the middle of the city, just a few blocks from Union Square on Irving Place.

i seriously considered asking for a sticking a pumpkin under my shirt on the way out as a souvenir, but i behaved myself. classiness was one of my 2011 resolutions, and i still have a little over a month left here to turn it all around.

this restaurant obviously has built itself a solid reputation, because the line sprawled down the block and we had to wait at least a half an hour…and when we left the restaurant, the line was even longer. apparently a healthy chunk of Manhattanites seek a little rustic refuge on a beautiful Autumn afternoon.

we were tucked into a cozy little corner table on the second level, right beneath a wooden pitchfork that i like to think Auntie Em and Uncle Henry once employed.

let me have my little Kansas fantasies, please. i live in a crazy place.

the large-flowered wallpaper and antique decor reminded me of my childhood dining room, and i have to admit i got a little nostalgic for those good old days of lazy afternoons and moms who let you choose which household chores you wanted to do, in hopes that you might actually do something. what a smart mom, to find a way to get me to set and clear the table. (love you mom! feel free to come clean my apartment anytime you’d like!)

one of the best parts of the restaurant was definitely the omelette presentation:

fancy an omelette here? well, you get the whole skillet with it. who doesn’t want to eat their brunch out of a cast-iron skillet? i thought it was one of the cutest things i’d ever seen in a restaurant, and something i’ll definitely remember every time i order an omelette.

(“oh, you only serve them on plain plates here? pity…”)

i didn’t get a skillet, tho. sadly, they didn’t seem to deem Cobb salads worthy of any special accoutrements.

but it was a tasty little guy, all the same.

(ah yes, the unattractive camera phone shots are back in fullllll effect.)

the website says that the owners sought to create for their guests the experience of having a home cooked meal at a farmhouse in upstate NY, where the husband grew up in a small farming town, and i think they nailed it with this little gem of a restaurant. i’d definitely recommend it as a unique, cozy brunch place, so long as you don’t mind a for-sure wait.

once you’re inside, though, trust me — you’ll be glad you stuck it out, and you’ll forget you’re a stone’s throw from Union Square. and maybe, just maybe, you’ll let yourself relax for a few stolen moments of country life make-believe.