New York Brunch
A friend of mine had made me walk all the way from Financial District as I, jet-lagged, kept whining “Are we there yet? We could have gone some place closer!” As I was devouring the Hazelnut French Toast, I was thrilled that she dragged me to this vivacious Italian. Other than the French Toast, the other must-have is the ricotta cheese with honey. Warning: It’s addicting.
I prefer going to this wonderfully classic french bistro early week-days. I grab one of their copies of the New York Times as I walk by the oak-lined bar, seafood displays on ice and marvelous cheese trays. I sit on one of the red booths and pick one of the fantastic egg dishes with great indecisiveness. Everything looks good. I read the paper along with the hums of classical music. If you go with a friend, don’t skip on the overwhelmingly large and sinfully delicious bread basket straight from their own bakery next door.
Half store – half restaurant, I’ve always loved this friendly place with its sophisticated rustic cooking. Even on a rainy day of gloom, their open kitchen, large windows and high ceilings create a bright and fresh ambiance, their generous staff cheering you on. From the seasonal American menu, the Eggs Benedict is a stand-out.
One of the few restaurants I don’t mind getting up early for. A line of hipsters and locals with coffee in their hands start forming around 9:30 am. As this small and cute restaurant serves the best Bloody Mary in town, it makes up for the wait. From the eclectic and menu with Moroccan influences, I highly recommend the unpredictable Stewed Chickpeas and to share the Dutch-oven Pancakes for dessert.
LOWER EAST SIDE
Speaking of pancakes, here is another small restaurant that keep patrons wait for long hours on weekend, but for a good reason. The pancakes are to die for. My personal preference is the banana-walnut over blueberry. If you are not a sweet tooth, freshly-baked biscuits is just for you. If you can, try to go during week-days to this modest-diner-like restaurant to get to the morning deliciousness quicker down the line.
At the end of a hidden alleyway, you’ll find a place that feels more like a British hunting lodge, with geese and deers on the walls, vintage paintings and intimate dining rooms. I love coming to this warm gastro-pub Sunday afternoons, when the brunch rush has calmed down a bit. Their savory dishes are more interesting than the usual sweet affair. Their burger is fantastic for hang-overs.
Eco-friendly restaurant that serves only from local suppliers is best known for its organic produce. Located at the mega interior design store ABC Carpets & Home, the decor is shabby chic / country meets Scandinavian coolness. Their selective brunch menu is to the point, delicately balancing a large range of flavors and cravings. You can’t go wrong with any of them. Fun Fact: You can also purchase the lovely dinnerware and furniture.
No tables available at ABC Kitchen? Worry no more. Just hp over a couple of blocks to this cozy Italian wine bar and grab yourself one of the best genuinely Italian coffee in town and get rid of your disappointment with their divine pastries. Especially if you are in a hurry, this is the perfect quick stop for breakfast. Very Rome.
UPPER EAST SIDE
Introduced to me by the local DJ Giancarlo, I immediately fell in love with their exquisitely colorful tiles, vintage seltzer bottles lined at the bar, and vintage travel posters on the walls. French menu with German influences, the front runner on the menu is their first-rate sausages. But feel free to order anything at this charming brasserie, you won’t be disappointed.