When I heard that The NoMad was offering a sandwiched version of their incredible chicken—foie gras, truffles, brioche, and all—on their brunch menu for only $26, I suddenly thought to myself, hey, now I can finally afford to eat Daniel Humm's roast chicken whenever the mood strikes, before my line of thought stopped with a big mental record-scratch: wait a minute. That's a $26 chicken sandwich. Could it possibly be worth the price? I saw it as my duty to find out.
'the brunch dish' on Serious Eats
In another case study of smart young chefs reclaiming Asian fusion cuisine for the better, Jonathan Wu is reworking brunch through a Chinese lens.
It takes a lot for me to order pancakes for fear of all the bland, leaden, and sickly sweet versions out there. Perla's are a different story, and that's before you get to the foie gras butter.
Dale Talde's first Park Slope spot has been serving dinner to packed crowds since January, but just recently added a brunch menu, and so far, there isn't much of a wait. When word gets out, though, I'm guessing that will change.
Saxon + Parole gets packed at night; the crowds come for cocktails and the juicy egg-topped burger. But when we arrived early on a Saturday morning to check out their new brunch, the room was calm and bright, with plenty of tables available. I predict that won't last long; there are lots of delicious morning bites here.
The savory parmesan toast ($13) on Olea's brunch menu brought on feelings of disbelief and chagrin: how had I never thought of salty, cheesy French toast before?
I dig the urban ski chalet vibe of Lodge; they have great natural light, excellent people watching, and a dependably stellar soundtrack (The Kinks, The Beatles, and Frank Sinatra all got airtime on my most recent visit). I also like their brunch dishes, which are classic enough to be comfort food but suggest a thoughtfulness in both selection and execution. Their two-for-one bloody mary and mimosa special ($7) doesn't hurt either.
The Heights Cafe is a pleasant brunch spot, worth visiting as much for its proximity to the Brooklyn waterfront as for its simple, satisfying fare. Their menu aims to go beyond the standard bacon-and-eggs dishes as well, with creative touches meant to liven up classic dishes.
Omelets are rarely the most exciting thing on a brunch menu, but at Applewood in Park Slope, they might be. The menu changes often, but on a recent visit, the options included a vegetable omelet forgoing the usual suspects in favor of eggplant, roasted cherry tomatoes, and rainbow chard ($12); one with seared day boat scallops ($15); and one with pork, kale, and roasted garlic ($14).
With entrees ranging from $12-$15 and sides in the $6 neighborhood, brunch at Maialino isn't cheap, exactly. Considering that we had no wait, friendly, helpful service and seriously delicious food, Maialino's got one of the best brunches in town.
I'm a sucker for classy restaurants doing indulgent food well, which is why I loved the Hangtown Fry ($14) at Stone Park Café.
The Red Hook ballfields might not be the first venue that pops into mind for weekend brunching. But hey, if you don't mind queuing up at a different truck for each course (and between elotes, huaraches, and pupusas, there will be multiple courses) and if you appreciate free entertainment courtesy of the ballfield matches, then it's a fun outing.
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).
While I'm not usually one to hop on the subway for brunch, I make an exception for Mimi's Hummus, on Cortelyou Road in Ditmas Park.
Spacious and airy, with a beautiful back patio, Flatbush Farm is an exceedingly pleasant place to spend a weekend morning—especially given how tasty many of the brunch options are.
It is nice to find a place where brunch entrées range primarily from $9-12, and are composed, thoughtful dishes, rather than just slapped-together Eggs Benedict.
Brunch At Cascabel Taqueria, Upper West Side: Chilaquiles, Huevos Revueltos, and Other Mexican Specialties
With a second branch of Cascabel Taqueria moving into the old Lime Leaf space on 108th and Broadway (a very welcome change!), the options for good Latin brunches in the neighborhood have expanded.
One of the great things about Shopsin's is that they not only have dishes unlike anyone else's; they have whole sections of their menu unlike anyone else's. While I'm always tempted by absurd stomach bombs like the Mo' Betta (eggs and sausage hugged by macaroni-and-cheese-pancakes), there are meals when I don't want an entire weekend's worth of food in one go. For those times, I've been exploring the "Poached Eggs, Cubed Toast" corner. Runny eggs over something carb-y is my favorite genre of brunch dish anyway; why not have the toast cut up for you?
While there are plenty of savory options, like Salmon Wrapped Poached Eggs with green goddess dressing, their Nutella French toast was the sort of sweet, appealing dish that's irresistible on a lazy Saturday morning.
Brunch isn't really a concept in Japan, at least the syrup-drenched, hash brown-represented one that we know. But recently, chef Abe Hiroki at EN Japanese Bistro started offering a special choshoku, or Japanese breakfast, menu on weekends during prime brunching hours. As with the other meals at EN, it's carefully crafted with attention paid to traditional Japanese preparations, and there are many bowls and small plates involved. (Translation: if you're into dishware and wooden spoons, you will appreciate the presentation here.)