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A lot's been said about DBGB, Daniel Boulud's new downtown digs, but brunch hasn't been discussed much. I wondered why; a menu largely comprised of sausages seemed a perfect fit for a hearty morning meal. Truth be told, there's probably good reason brunch has been less talked about--it's just not as impressive--but that doesn't mean there aren't standout dishes worth trying.

My favorite was the Vermont Banger ($14), which features a sausage made of smoked pork and cheddar alongside hash browns and red onion crème fraiche. It's a peasant dish gone upscale, and what it lacks in size, it delivers in flavor. A cut into the sausage reveals just the right amount of crackle, and leads to an ooze of cheese that's literally melted into the meat. One bite and I was wondering why I'd never seen that done before--it's brilliant.

The hash browns alongside the Vermont are served wedge-style, which may be a tough sell for many hash brown purists. Even so, the texture is both smooth and crispy, benefiting from the silky crème fraiche, whose onion flavor evokes the comforts of homemade chips and dip. There's little wrong with the dish. If only it were a little larger.

20090902dbgbsundae.jpgFor those who are still hungry, I'm going to go out on a limb and recommend dessert for breakfast. I know, it's wrong, and my mom will most certainly yell at me when she reads this, but don't go for DBGB brunch (or any meal there) if you can't leave space for one of their signature sundaes.

We tried the coffee-caramel, whose star ingredient was a sprinkling of candied pecans that bore the most addicting, pure crunch I've had in a while. Yes, the brownies and cookie bits were great, but I found myself casting them aside for the nuts. Who'd have thought?

DBGB

299 Bowery, New York NY 10003 (map)
212-933-5300
danielnyc.com

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