Pancakes au potimarron – crème légère de coriandre

Officiellement c’est encore l’automne, avec quelques cucurbitacées encore présents sur les étals des marchés, à côté des fruits secs, mandarines et autres légumes de Noël. Je suis en train de modifier la décoration de mon appartement, et donc adieu toutes mes belles courges que je sacrifie à la cuisine ! Lire la suite de « Pancakes au potimarron – crème légère de coriandre »

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Un brunch chez Les Enfants Perdus

Ces derniers mois, je vous ai offert nettement moins de nouvelles adresses de restaurants. Il est vrai que j’avais démarré très fort à New York l’année dernière, avec mes 246 bars et restaurants différents testés pendant mon séjour de 11 mois, soit une moyenne d’environ 5 nouveaux endroits testés par semaine. Quasi un chiffre de critique gastronomique je vous l’accorde. Je me demande comment ils ne finissent pas par ressembler à des baleines échouées à ce rythme. Lire la suite de « Un brunch chez Les Enfants Perdus »

English scones – une pause sucrée pour le tea time

english scones - une pause sucrée pour le tea timeJepense avoir essayé de convertir tous mes amis aux English scones, ces petites brioches aux raisins secs, servis avec de la clotted cream et de la confiture en Angleterre, ou simplement avec du beurre salé et de la confiture d’orange en France. Mon premier essai a été à l’occasion d’un voyage linguistique en Angleterre au collège. Cette étape culinaire est pratiquement la seule chose dont je me souvienne et qui avait pu sauver le voyage. Lire la suite de « English scones – une pause sucrée pour le tea time »

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.

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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.

Jojo

Jojo is 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 you can only choose à la carte.

The exquisite butternut squash soup served with black mushrooms reminds me I never succeeded in having this taste when I cook such a dish. For the entrée, the slaw-baked salmon is perfectly cooked, served with an excellent truffle mashed potatoes and Brussel sprouts. The shrimp-asparagus risotto is to die for as well. For chocolate fanatics, Jojo serves a chocolate cake made with real chocolate that melts when you open it. If you want a calm atmosphere where for once you can hear what your date (or your mother) is saying with a great value brunch, this is the spot.

Jojo
160 E 64th St
New York, NY 10065
(212) 223-5656

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 is very relaxing.

The oeuf cocotte was really tasty, especially when you order the Alsatian option with bacon, onions and cream. And it comes with bread. If you have a big appetite, think of it as an appetizer. They also offer classic egg benedict or even a burger that I unfortunately haven’t tasted.

The food is good without being outstanding, the service is all right without being super friendly, but the relaxing courtyard is the added value to the spot.

August
359 Bleecker St
New York, NY 10014
(212) 929-8727

For desert, stop by the food-truck Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream on Bleeker Street. They offer artisanal ice cream in a nice crunchy cone. The mango chili tasted nice on the first bite, with all the flavor of the fruit flavor, but the use of chili was too intense so it overwhelms the palate. For pistachio fanatics like me, this one was the best I had for a long time. I am not a big fan of ice-cream, but this truck could get me come back faster than usually.

Van Leeuwen Ice Cream

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. There is a small outdoor space but the décor inside is so outstanding I would not recommend to stay outside. The restaurant has different areas, comfy couches for a drink, a bar to get a cocktail experience, a wine room that made me think they must have a great wine list.

The brunch menu is pretty small but offers from italo-americano dishes like pancakes with ricotta to Italian pasta like the carbonara. The parmesan French toast served with prosciutto and egg is pretty and tasty. The toast is crunchy on the side and melts in the middle, which ads a lot of value to this dish. If you are craving for a side, try the Tuscany fries served with their cold spicy dip.

Another excellent Italian restaurant in Manhattan despite the non-fresh squeezed orange juice…

L’Apicio
13 East 1st St
New York, NY 10003
212-533-7400

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, or just having a drink at the bar waiting for the library to open later. Try not to be in the highway that are tables for two, but I would strongly recommend the living room for a quiet, comfy brunch.

Otherwise, the food is delicious and if you think you can’t have a chicken sandwich for brunch you are wrong. It is not exactly like the same preparation than the $79 chicken for two served for dinner. The roasted chicken stuffed with black truffle and foie gras is served in a brioche, and the smell of the truffle is so intense the waiting time to take the picture was really tough.

If you go classic for the crabmeat egg benedict, you will get the finest you can have in the city, served with crabmeat. Yes, they were damn good. Yes it is my favorite brunch spot in the city. Yes, you definitely have to go. Period.

The NoMad Hotel
1170 Broadway
New York, NY 10001
(212) 796-1500

Eric Kayser

It is a bit the war between Uptown and Downtown people, but some of them are almost crying that Eric Kayser takes so much time to open its second location at Gramercy. So in the meantime let’s say you have a good excuse to come to the “suburb” and visit a museum between the brunch and the “goûter” to try everything my Parisian bakery has to offer to New Yorkers.

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They serve breakfast, lunch, brunch, snacks and dinner so you have plenty of options, mostly offered all day. When I came for the opening, the quiche lorraine was several inches high, which I love. But a couple of weeks later it was thin like most of the quiches found here. I am not sure if they realized the American palate preferred this version or if the cost was too high but I would recommend them to go back to the first one. It is not really the season anymore but the foie gras is at least not this duck mousse but has the same consistence that the French one and tastes as good. And bonus every meal is served with a bunch of bread, including my favorite turmeric-hazelnut bread.

Ask for a tea or coffee, they serve it with their adorable mini-financier, but you can also order the full size pistachio one that is to die for.

My favorite desserts on earth are tartes… and Eric Kayser has everything I could dream about. Just watch them and you will understand why French chefs master the art of pastry. It is almost the only time I had real shortcrust pastry covered with either the raspberries or the a creamy, rich chocolate ganache and not this frozen dough bought in grocery stores that almost every pastry has when it comes to pies.

And do not leave the place without your old-style baguette that will keep fresh longer than one day. Trust me, it tastes exactly like the Kayser bakery in France.

Eric Kayser
1294 3rd Ave 74th St
New York, NY 10021
212-7444-3100

Clinton St. Baking

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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. We got there at 9.02, the restaurant was already full and the waitress was putting your name on the iList. Minimum 45 minutes wait for a party of 2…that early…

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But you will notice soon that Clinton St. Bakery cares about their customers. Slices of warm pancakes and small biscuits are served to people waiting.

I am eating my usual eggs benedict-weekend-brunch. The scallion and red bell peppers added change the usual taste. The biscuit is fantastic and remind me the soul food I used to eat last year in North Carolina. I can even claim these are the best egg benedicts I have had in NY.

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However, people make the trip especially for pancakes. Eat them and you will get soon why people can be crazy about food. February was #pancakemonth, with special pancakes served during weekdays so you can eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They are fluffy, huge, and the blueberry on the top are just sweet enough. Just check the picture to understand how good it is, and run there (before 8.30am though!).

Clinton St. Baking
4 Clinton St,
New York, 10002
(646) 602-6263

Reynard at the Wythe Hotel

reynard-s

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, I would not be able to tell if there was any change, but I will try to suggest you why you should brunch there next weekend.

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Personally, I will definitely spend all my weekends on the other side of the River since such great chefs have recently decided to establish outside of Manhattan.

Located in the Wythe Hotel in North Williamsburg, you can’t miss you have landed on Hipster Land. Do not forget to bring your Hipster Starter Kit:

The-Hipster-Starter-Kit-All

But since waiters are nice to average-non-stylish-Parisian-tourists like us, it makes the experience even better. High wooden ceiling, lot of space, large windows that make this rainy Saturday brighter.

The February menu offers nice out-of-the box options. The rosemary-mandarin scone is a nice mix of sweet-savory flavors.

The duck banh-mi, on whole-wheat bread, is a complete different dish from what I am used to with Vietnamese sandwiches. The slightly-Asian flavors with the cabbage slaw, cilantro and pickled egg make you travel a bit while the outstanding French fries remind you we are not in Asia.

Even though I would not have a burger for brunch, go for it! This fancy grass-fed burger features excellent basic ingredients: bun, meat, gruyère cheese and grilled onions. Some greens in or on the side would have made look it healthier though!

Excellent vibe, this venue is great to relax during weekends and eat delight food.

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Reynard at the Wythe Hotel
80 Wythe Ave,
New York, NY 11211
(718) 460-8004

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.

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

Calliope

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Calliope is THE ‘brand-new’ French-Italian-American hot brunch spot in Manhattan. This confusion already doesn’t inspire confidence. But I have decided to give a shot. East Village, Sunday, hopefully it is already a bit late so we ‘only’ have to wait 20 minutes at the bar even though plenty of tables are empty. It is so loud I am almost happy we get the table at the entrance and cannot imagine the sound when it is packed.

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With the fresh squeezed orange-juice, I raise my expectation, and even more when I see the coffee cake served at the bar. We go for the eggs benedict, as I rate NYC brunches on this scale. At the first sight, I am already not fascinated. The presentation is not refined, I am sure I could have cooked better-looking poached eggs. Served with ham, I cannot even determine if it is a muffin that holds the whole thing. The ‘pommes Anna’ is actually way too crispy hash browns. At least the coffee cake was delightful, do not skip the crème fraiche, it is good for you with that cold.

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Sulking waiters, excessive sound and poor presentation of the dishes: another aberration for me that reminds me how sometimes Parisians and New Yorkers look alike when it comes to being snobby.

Calliope
84 E 4th St,
New York, NY 10003
(212) 260-8484

Hundred Acres

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It is cold in NYC, very cold, like 15F (or -10°C for our non US friends). But the light is bright and warm us, and tracking THE new brunch make us face the cold weather, even if I have to loose one hand because it’s frozen.

After my bad experience at “the” new hot spot in Manhattan, I prefer trying one of the best 2012 brunches from last year.

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. This is not excessively expensive, good with a (small) bunch of friends, or apparently good for dates too as the nice couple seated at the table next to us is experiencing one. Fresh squeezed orange juice, great selection of teas and cocktails (I guess they are known for their Bloody Mary’s).

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Everything looks delicious on the menu. I keep looking at everybody else plate and the scrambled eggs are actually a good choice. Cooked with mushrooms, they melt in the mouth and the scallions give them a very distinctive taste. The corn bread is a bit dry but good though.

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The pancakes are for once thinner and lighter than usual, and the caramelized apples and the pecan butter finish up the dish perfectly.

Should you go? Definitely!
Any recommendation? Book a table before showing up! It’s packed.

38 MacDougal St
New York, NY
(212) 475-7500