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.

Spring Time

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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

Cocktail bar-crawl

1. Experimental Cocktail Club
1. Experimental Cocktail Club

1. Experimental Cocktail Club: run by the same owners than the club Rue St Sauveur in Paris or London, it is all about you what love from cocktail bars. Elegant, smart, crazy cocktails. The venue is small, and we were lucky to have a table a Saturday night but I would recommend making a reservation. Experimental is all about the presentation, and I love it!
Experimental Cocktail Club
191 Chrystie St
(between Delancey St & Rivington St)
New York, NY 10002

2. Employees Only
2. Employees Only

2. Employees OnlyYes you are right; a fortuneteller is in the front of the bar to make the show. Another bar in NYC where you feel like in the 1930s. It is like they all want to be speakeasy bars, even though only some of them are really hidden. The atmosphere is totally art deco and very stunning with all the bottles used as an ornament at the bar. Avoid Saturday night since it is so packed you cannot really move in the tiny standing area at the bar. Try the ‘Fraises Sauvages’ or the ‘Amelia’ cocktails; bartenders in their white period costume know their job.
Employees Only
510 Hudson St,
New York, NY

2. Donna
2. Donna

3. Donna: located in South Williamsburg, almost on the water, this bar is a mix of hipster/vintage in a great atmosphere. When you get there you just fell good. Have a sit at the bar in the middle of the room; you’ll get more space to watch what is going on. Go on Saturday night in March, they serve Brooklyn Tacos. Ok this is not Manhattan, but still.
Donna
27 Broadway
New York, NY 11249

4. Angel's Share
4. Angel’s Share

4. Angel’s share: Japanese speakeasy hidden in a Japanese restaurant in East Village. Go up the stairs and open the wooden door on your left. Welcome to an early 20th century bar with Japanese waiters wearing braces. Very tiny, you cannot make reservation so be there at 7 when they open.
Angel’s Share
Village Yokocho
8 Stuyvesant St
New York, NY 10003

The Cockail bar-crawlCocktail bar-crawl

5. The Raines Law Room
5. The Raines Law Room

5. The Raines Law Room: Is that really a speakeasy with the outdoor porch? Whatever, welcome to the Roaring 20s. Loved the comfy tiny spot. Go to the bar to the very end to order your cocktail and go back to your assigned table. The only downside is that out of the 3 cocktails, I would not recommend any of them. Or maybe for guys…

The Raines Law Room
48 W 17th St
(between 5th Ave & Avenue Of The Americas)
New York, NY 10011

6. Lillie's
6. Lillie’s

6. Lillie’s: when you are trying to escape the madness of Times Square, head to this Victorian Bar, you will be definitely out of the time. Stay at the bar and enjoy the late 1800s time.

Lillie’s
249 W 49th St
(between Broadway & 8th Ave)
New York, NY 10019

7. The Campbell Apartment
7. The Campbell Apartment

7. The Campbell Apartment: Yes it is one of the hot spots where they filmed Gossip Girl, so this venue is even more exciting! And even more for those like me whose best afterwork meeting point is Grand Central, this place is great. You have to go through another restaurant to find this almost secret spot. Very dark and comfy, prices can be a bit crazy when you pay your glass of Sancerre $19. Another tip: DO NEVER ORDER FOOD. I know it is a bar, but the plastic American cheese and the frozen pizza are factors to make you run away.
The Campbell Apartment
15 Vanderbilt Ave
(between 42nd St & 43rd St)
New York, NY 10017

Photo courtesy of Pouring Ribbons
8. Pouring Ribbons

8. Pouring Ribbons: A new bar in EV. Remember the exact address otherwise you will pass it even without noticing the blue door. The bar is upstairs with a large window on the street. Like many bars I’ve been to in Manhattan (or the Violet Hour in Chicago), you are necessarily assigned to a table. You’d better go there not to meet new friends or you would be disappointed.
Pouring Ribbons
225 Avenue B Second Floor
New York, NY 10009

9. Trix
9. Trix

9. Trix: One of the great Williamsburg bar for people-watching without the pressure and prices of Manhattan. Try the Amelia.
Trix
145 Bedford Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Photo courtesy of Milk & Honey
10. Milk and Honey

10. Milk & Honey: Manhattan is always about the latest bar that just opened. Last December everybody was whispering about the new Milk & Honey that opened in Gramercy, since the Lower East Side location was shut down. Wednesday, 9.30pm, we go confident with the confirmation email we got from Karla. Once again get the exact address, we could not even see the hidden grey door at the first sight. No member card requested anymore, welcome to the new speakeasy! It is pretty empty, Karla shows us our booth. Nonexistent decoration, art deco lights, the venue seems unfinished. Karla introduces us the concept: we tell her what we like, she asks us questions and offers us a choice of cocktails. This amazing experience and the quality of cocktails we had made us almost forget the “non-decoration” policy.
Milk & Honey
30 E 23rd St
New York, NY 10010

11. JBird
11. JBird

11. JBird: I would not say finally we have a good reason to go out uptown because I would lie, but at least we got a cocktail bar. The empty venue might be due to the fact it is Tuesday night, still I wish there was more people so I could have truly enjoyed this UES bar. Really easy cocktail menu when you are lost where you can choose between ‘Sours’, ‘Old-fashioned’, ‘Fizzes’, or ‘Aromatized’ cocktails.

JBird
339 E 75th St
New York, NY 10021