The Brunch-Crawl

Brunch in NYC is a very big thing. It is all about getting together after a Saturday night party, people watching and drinking again. New Yorkers have the habit to keep drinking on Sunday mornings, mimosas or blody-marys, a trend that none of my French friends was able to follow. Brunch menus look like each other in the city. Since the kale, this green cabage is trendy, it is on every brunch menus, like Brussel sprouts, which is another thing French people cannot bear, synonymous of the cafeteria in middle school. However, like any other trend, it might hit France in a couple of years (months?) and you will see soon our “bobos” eat those veggies reinvented for the French palate.

Capture d’écran 2013-06-07 à 21.44.57

The NoMad
The NoMad

The NoMad hotel: If you want to impress your parents or a date, the restaurant in this hotel is the perfect spot. Divided into different areas, you can have brunch in the atrium, or by the fireplace or the parlour… Read more

 

 

Le Philosophe
Le Philosophe

Le Philosophe: Another French restaurant that opened a couple of months ago in NoHo. And the NYC food scene created a buzz about this place. What is so fantastic about this place… Read more

 

 

Raspberry tarte
Raspberry tarte

Eric Kayser: It is a bit the war between Uptown and Downtown people, but some of them are almost crying Eric Kayser takes so much time to open its second location at Gramercy… Read more

 

 

Reynard
Reynard

Reynard: Some places decide to change their name to refresh their image. Last August, Tarlow decided to officially change the name of “Reynards”to… “Reynard”. Since I first came to NY in August 2012… Read more

 

 

Coq-au-vin
Maison Harlem

Maison Harlem: Harlem is more and more having nice restaurants opening. Maison Harlem is one of them. Located in the very quiet West Harlem, this French restaurant is a nice place for brunch once you are done with the traditional Gospel church… Read more

 

The Dutch, Soho
The Dutch, Soho

The Dutch: American Soho restaurant own by the same team than the new Lafayette. The venue is bright, with the same snobby atmosphere you find in these trendy Manhattan spots I talked about in earlier posts… Read more

 

 

Parmesan french toast
L’Apicio

L’Apicio: I usually do not go to Italian restaurant for brunch because what is the point of eating eggs when you can have carbonara? However, since we could get a reservation we ended at L’Apicio… Read more

 

 

Clinton St. Baking
Clinton St. Baking

Clinton St. Baking: You probably don’t understand why New Yorkers are ready to do the line for 2 hours to eat but sometimes you just pass the door and you get it. Clinton St. Bakery opens at 9am on weekends… Read more

 

 

Hundred Acres
Hundred Acres

Hundred Acres: Thanks to Open Table, I hopefully skip the 45 minute line to get the precious table. One of the waitress sulks, I don’t care she is not in charge of our table. Some hipsters at the bar, mostly preppies in the venue… Read more

 

August
August

August is a tiny spot in West Village. If offers only a few tables on the front and the surprise comes when you can be seated in the courtyard since it is covered and open all day long. It is really calm so having brunch on weekends… Read more

 

 

Jojo
Jojo

Jojo: one of Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s restaurants (Chef at ABC Kitchen) in the UES. We go for the $28 three-course brunch with appetizer/entrée/desert, but without the traditional egg benedict or pancakes… Read more

 

 

Café B
Café B

B Café: this traditional Belgium bistro offers excellent dishes like the mussels, the egg benedict with smoked salmon served on English muffins. Try the Egg sandwich, it looks really simple but the combo of fresh baguette, scrambled eggs, avocado and ‘Belgium’ fries is fantastic.

 

 

Alice Tea Cup
Alice Tea Cup

Alice Tea Cup: This UES tea place was my #1 brunch spot for a while. The décor is a bit too kitchy, especially when you are not having tea time with your mother. I came in fall so they had pumpkin scones, which is probably part of the reason why I came so often. The scones are fluffy and look and taste like more an English scone. The egg benedicts are very well one, served with smoked salmon and a buttermilk scone. But the funniest and more typical to order is the afternoon tea presented on a three-tiered stand with scones, sandwiches, desserts, and tea (with a large selection of course). It’s like being in London.

Café d'Alsace
Café d’Alsace

Café d’Alsace: this other UES café is a great neighborhood restaurant. It has an outdoor place that makes you feel being in France. They have classic from American egg benedicts to the traditional Quiche Lorraine.

 

Jane
Jane

Jane: It is not the Jane Hotel, but it is at least as pretentious as the hotel. Try to book a table ahead on Open Table or the snobby waiters will enjoy having you wait for a long time. Once you pass this first welcome at least you can enjoy the meal. Because they have great crab cake egg benedict.

The Italian food-crawl

Villa Medici

I may have been disturbed by what the city offers for international food that I almost forgot Italian food is in my top 3 fav food. I must split with pizza since I still have to taste one place before posting my recommendation. In the last 2 weeks I had such great Italian food that I cannot wait to share them with you.

I finally got a reservation for L’Artusi in West Village. My expectations were very high since every blogs and food magazine call this place one of the best restaurants in town. The venue is big, with an open kitchen and a second floor. Check the private room filled like a wine cellar, I wish I could have had dinner in there. The place is loud, but it seems very usual for NYC.
Small menu, very goof prices for such a nice place, the wine list is outstanding and they have wine from all the regions of Italy. ALL of them.
Definitely go for the roasted mushrooms. Served in top with pancetta, a fried egg and shred Parmesan, the species used reveal all the flavors of this dish.
Out of the three pasta dishes tasted, I cannot even tell you which one is my favorite since they were all delicious. The peas raviolis got a lot of flavor, even though I usually taste it with pancetta to be more tasty. The white bolognese tagliatelle were definitely not to miss.
For once we ordered a dessert. The crunchy hazelnut chocolate torta matched perfectly with the salted caramel gelato.
Should you go? Book your table now!
But charging $10 for some bread and olive oil brought to your table is not understandable. I only remember cheap tourist restaurants in Rome that could do this.

L’Artusi
228 W 10th St
New York, NY 10014
(212) 255-5757

 

Supper is another tiny restaurant with brick walls. There is an outdoor terrace on 2nd St, which is probably very nice with Spring finally coming. Great wine list for such a small place, it seems that extensive wine list has became common for NYC.

The menu is also extensive, maybe a bit too much when they bring you a lists of 20 ‘specials of the day’…be careful and ask for the price otherwise you will pay your buratta $22… It was excellent, but having an appetizer more expensive than the entrée when it is neither lobster nor foie gras…?
The homemade mushroom ravioli where perfectly cooked with a good amount of sauce, even though the white truffle flavor could have been more intense for me.
My favorite dish, which is on the regular menu, was the grilled polenta served with prosciutto di Parma, shaved Parmigiano and fennel.
My only recommendation, except to go next time you are craving for Italian food: do not stay at the table close to the kitchen, you’ll just leave with a headache at the end of the dinner.

Supper
156 E 2nd St
New York, NY 10009
(212) 477-7600

 

Italian food-crawl

Oregano is a new restaurant that opened in Williamsburg. Very tiny place, I would say it is good to bring a date since no noise will disturb you. The good news is that they still do not have a wine license so BYOB! Bring Your Own Bottle is usually for Korean restaurants or crappy places. There are only a few left in NYC so hurry up!
The tomato bruschetta was more flavored than what I was expected and was a very good surprise. I would recommend the eggplant served with a side of tagliatelle. They were still serving butternut squash ravioli, with a white sauce, which is never a mistake.

Oregano
102 Berry St
New York, NY 11211
(718) 599-5988

Spring Time

IMG_6297

This weekend is a sign of a lot of excitement. Is it because the lovely sunny weather has finally confirmed it is actually Spring? Is it because my roommates and I are throwing a Harlem Shake Party tonight? Is it because Mad Men goes back on AMC and we are already planning a cocktail party on Sunday night?

mad men

Well, it is part of it. But tomorrow, Smorgasburg returns to Brooklyn and this is really exciting. What is this crazy name about? An outdoor Brooklyn Food Market featuring the best local vendors from 11am to 6pm. The Williamsburg location has slightly changed (one block), but is still on the water facing Manhattan.

During the wintertime, the Brooklyn Flea Market was at the Skylight One Hanson, Brooklyn, with only a small selection of food vendors in the basement.

I am not such a big fan of thrift and vintage clothes, but to be honest they had cool stuff, from vinyl to vintage glasses. My favorite was JFK on the carpet.

My main goal was obviously to check the food hall. Nothing compared to the summer version but this is a first taste of what you can find tomorrow in Williamsburg.

Some of them definitely worth it and will be tomorrow. Try those AsiaDog, the banh-mi inspired dog excited me way more than Crif Dogs. As part of the beef bun, go for the skim version, otherwise it is way too fat. Skip those appealing rice balls from Rice & Miso Everyday, they don’t taste anything but rice. For dessert, get the macaron Vendome and finish with a bar of truffle chocolate from Fine & Raw, to die for! And don’t forget to look up, the building is almost as impressive than the skyline in Brooklyn.

Smorgasburg
Saturdays in Williamsburg (11am-6pm)
East River State Park (at N. 7 St.)
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Sundays in Dumbo
Tobacco Warehouse (30 Water St.)
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Dressler

photo (8)Dressler is located on the other side of the Williamsburg Bridge, South bound of the trendy area, and I must admit it I made the trip only for its brunch. The menu offers the great opportunity to eat excellent food at an average Manhattan price. The decoration is refined, modern with classical revival when your eyes catch the huge rococo chandeliers.

The service is nice and elegant, like the venue. Coffee is served in a French press, and I appreciate the effort, even though they are still far from great coffee. But I guess this is America.

Let’s switch to the food. I obviously ordered the eggs benedict. The poached eggs are so even I am wondering how they made them. The side salad is more than welcome after having dined out in NYC so often my jeans are seriously tight. I would recommend also the grilled hanger steak that could even turn me into a red meat lover.

I always use food as an excuse to discover new areas of the city and the trip to this part of Brooklyn does really worth it. To feel better you can then start a Sunday walk to the trendy Williamsburg or get lost in Borough Park before reaching Dumbo.

photo (10)

Dressler
149 Broadway
Brooklyn, NY
(718) 384-6343