The Brunch Dish: Rucola in Boerum Hill
Come for the poached eggs and speck on toast, stay for the Beatles. Rucola was playing them all Sunday morning during our visit. The cozy corner spot on Bond and Dean in Boerum Hill quietly opened back in April, but has quickly become a neighborhood hang for northern Italian food made with local ingredients and fine cocktails mixed on the worn marble bar. The vibe is somewhere between trademark Brooklyn (mason jar chandelier? check) and Italian farmhouse (weathered benches for seating).
The brunch menu is pretty similar to that of lunch, but with a few more items: yogurt and granola, assorted pastries (some baked in-house, some from Ceci-Cela), a few salads (the Frisée being the brunchiest, with a poached egg and housemade pancetta), a few sandwiches (even we sometimes break from sandwiches on weekends), and the eggy dishes—that's what we were after.
It's hard to say no to the one with salty meat (speck) and two eggs (poached) on fresh-baked bread (semolina toast from nearby Caputo's bakery) with tomatoes (woot, tomato season). The "Poached Eggs" is something of an open-faced sandwich with plenty of nutty, porky flavor in just a couple of paper-thin shavings of speck. The toast soaks up all the sweet, acidic tomato juices while retaining its toasted, crisp edges.
The Frisée is a pile of lemon-juiced-out curly greens. The dressing is so acidic, in fact, your nostrils might flare a bit and a couple bites go down in borderline chokes. Make sure to swirl around the runny yolk from the poached egg nested on top. (Does anyone else order a frisée mostly for that egg fork-poke?) The lardon bits add a rich porkiness to the whole salad, and the snappy, poppy peas supply the sweet little green bursts that make fresh peas so special.
The menus at Rucola will be rotating with the season, and they even have a bi-weekly CSA running where you can pick up boxes at the restaurant.