Where to Brunch on Easter in NYC

Easter Eggs Stock Photos

Easter is one of my favorite holidays because to me it represents the beginning of spring! I love the colors, the smiles on people’s faces and the connection it reminds me of to my family. I remember when I was young my mother would hide easter eggs filled with some candy and mostly money(!) (dollars, quarters, etc) around our back yard. I loved waking up in my pajamas and searching for the eggs.

I also vividly remember dyeing eggs with my mother in the kitchen, dunking each egg carefully into the cup of colored water, and putting it back in the crate to dry. I was a lucky kid to have those special moments growing up.

I am celebrating easter this year by entertaining a group of 12 at a NYC restaurant. I can’t wait. I am going to put on my own version of an easter egg hunt for my guests as well. Just because we aren’t kids anymore doesn’t mean we have to give up on all the fun!

Because I care passionately about my audience and BrunchCritic fans, I want you to save your time and money searching for the perfect brunch spot. Here are my six picks of where to go this Easter. Enjoy!

NARCISSA

Narcissa

Narcissa has a lot going for it. It’s upscale, cool, and hip and a great New York experience to impress out-of-towners with. I had my birthday dinner here last year, and it also happens to be where I’m taking a large group for Easter on the 5th. I cannot wait. The Easter Brunch menu will be a la carte with some special additions to the menu. I’m looking forward to the Crab Benedict, and French Toast Bites and Carrot fries, as sides. And, of course whatever the chef specialty is that day.

LITTLE PARK

Little Park Screen Shot 1

Little Park is an impressive restaurant with great food and impeccable service. It’s been one of my favorite fine-dining brunch experiences this year and it is a classy way to celebrate your Easter. I’ve already recommended it to a handful of friends for the holiday. Note, Little Park has a lot of booths that fit up to 6 people and it is great for a group of that size.

Easter Brunch will be a la carte with possible additions to the menu for the holiday.

BENOIT

Benoit

When I’m in Midtown and looking for something French, Benoit is my usual go to. It’s an Alain Ducasse restaurant, and I love the red banquettes, bright lights, painted clouds on the ceiling and French tunes in the the background.

Benoit is offering a special 3-course prix fixe for $55 on Easter.

THE GANDER

The-Gander_Dining-Room1_SITE

The menu is a la carte with special Easter additions. On the menu you’ll see a Rack of Lamb, and Duck Confit Hash with port Béarnaise sauce as main entrees.

The price for the 3-courses has yet to be determined, but stay tuned. The Gander’s sister restaurant Recette is doing a $35 3-course prix fixe. Recette is also a great option for Easter too. It’s a small restaurant on a cozy West Village corner and the food is very high quality.

UPLAND

Upland-Save-For-Web

If you read this newsletter you may have heard me rave about Upland last week. The interior is stunning. The aesthetic is warm, upscale and a little trendy. The decor is a mix of fine wood, forrest greet banquettes, navy and white checkered tablecloths (that also match the servers’ aprons), and the wooden walls are lined with bottles of wine and jars of lemons. Don’t leave without trying the Quiche, the Pancakes and the Salmon Pizza.

Upland will offer their regular menu for Easter.

PARK AVENUE SPRING

Park Avenue Winter

Park Avenue is one of my favorite restaurants. Every season the restaurant closes down for 48 hours and then it undergoes a complete interior design change to reflect the season. The restaurant will be changing over from winter to spring on March 31st, just in time for April 5th.

Park Avenue Spring is offering a special menu on Easter with 3-courses for $69.

Brunch at Atrium & GMT, and a friend

In this weeks newsletter I highlighted Atrium and GMT. Obviously both are excellent because two of the best spots are recommended each week in the Newsletter, “One & One.”

A 11

 

Atrium

GMT

GMT

The restaurants have completely different atmospheres, but will provide two great experiences. Atrium was selected because I hadn’t covered a Dumbo spot in a while, and after trying it just the week before, I knew I had to share it via the newsletter. GMT was selected because timing is perfect– the World Cup launched on Friday, and I knew that on Saturday and Sunday of this weekend, games would be playing non-stop. GMT is one of the best places to watch a game and eat your brunch in the city.

For a description of each place, what to eat, and what to drink, check out this week’s One & One.

But first, here’s a little more about my experience at each Atrium.

When I went to Atrium, I went with my friend Lucas. I met Lucas fairly recently. We were at a scotch & cigars event and I was telling him that I loved meeting new people and needed a Brooklyn brunch wingman. He said yes in a New York minute, and he also lives down the road from Atrium. He hadn’t been either.

Lucas is a principal at the venture capital firm Gotham Ventures.  I’m of course really interested in what’s happening in the NYC tech scene (and all tech and startups across the US right now) so it was really great to be able to sit down and brunch with him. We are living in a unique time where companies are being started at an incredibly fast pace, and there is a lot going on at the angel investing and venture capital levels. I really enjoyed getting together with Lucas, and brunch made it possible.

AtriumLucas&I

Here’s a shot of us together. We both agreed my cocktail was the better of the two– the Herbs & Peppers (Fords London Dry Gin, Yellow Bell Pepper, Agave, Tajin Spice, and a Cayenne Pepper Rim).

Cheers Brunchies™!

Andrea

 

Best Mother’s Day Brunch in New York

So you’re looking for a NYC brunch spot to take mom on Sunday? And perhaps you’ve procrastinated a little as well. (Don’t worry, she still loves you…hopefully!) Here’s 4 spots to take mom and I’ve highlighted the type of mom that would like each one.

1. FOR THE CLASSIC, TRADITIONAL MOM
Clement - Clement is going to be the Mother’s Day brunch with a polished and sophisticated vibe. It will be a more traditional, upscale experience for the more classic mom.
(Midtown, 700 5th Ave At 55th St., (in the Penninsula Hotel)

2. FOR THE MOM THAT LOVES NEW YORK
The Gander -The Gander is one of New York’s newest brunch spots. This is where you’d take a mom who’s excited by all things New York, and appreciates how New York has new places popping up all the time. She wants to be on the pulse and would love to check out this recently opened brunch destination.
(Chelsea/Flatiron, 15 West 18th St., Between 5th and 6th Ave)

3. FOR THE HARD TO PLEASE MOM
MaialinoMaialino is for the mom that is perhaps the most picky, the mom who may be hard to please and wants all around quality in atmosphere and food. Maialino has been competing at the brunch game for a while and is a true winner.
(Gramercy, 2 Lexington Ave., At 21st St., in the Gramercy Park Hotel)

4. FOR THE HIP MOM
Locanda Verde - Locande Verde will be for the mom who’s a woman about town, the mom that is hip and trendy and wants her dining experiences to match.
(Tribeca, 377 Greenwich St., at N. Moore St.)

Cheers Brunchies™

Andrea

One Brunch for The Fall

DUCKS EATERY:
351 East 12th St., (between 1st Ave. and 2nd Ave.)
(212) 432-3825

Screen Shot 2013-11-26 at 3.22.48 PM The Place :

Ducks is a BrunchCritic favorite. It’s not well known, be we are exposing it to the masses. Ducks easy-going and casual but feels special at the same time. Overall, Ducks is a New Orleans meets Southeast Asian inspired spot, but the brunch menu is solely New Orleans influenced. A thick, brick atmosphere surrounds the diners and although tarnished, the wall mirror is still somehow endearing. Water is served in mason jars, the menus are binder clipped to cardboard, and mismatched chairs and distressed tables decorate the small space. We find that the clientele seems to be the perfect representation of all sorts of Manhattan and Brooklynites, minus the trendy/preppy crowd. Ducks is chill. It’s relaxed. It’s delicious.

What to Eat:

Start with the Roasted Delicata Squash.  Screen Shot 2013-11-26 at 3.30.12 PM Slices of fall squash will arrive beautifully presented, and made with wakame seaweed butter, togarashi chili and topped with flavorful, shaved burdock seeds. You’ll love eating your veggies. (And the burdock seeds are awesome!)

Screen Shot 2013-11-26 at 3.31.56 PMFor a main get the Benedict de Marie Laveau with smoked ricotta, and a creole hollandaise.

While a lot of places try to create twists on the classic benedict, they often fail. Ducks Eatery attempts this however and knocks it out of the park. That smoked ricotta and creole hollandaise isn’t too strong, or too weak, it’s just right. (They have waffles and fried Duck on the menu. We didn’t get to try it but surely will next time we go back!)

Screen Shot 2013-11-26 at 3.28.20 PMWhat to Drink:

The Pumpkin ti’ Punch is perfect for fall. Made with rum, coconut creme, cinnamon, nutmeg and graham, it’s a great starter. For dessert, you might want to forgo the beignets with chocolate sauce and just get a second Pumpkin ti’ Punch!

Reservation Policy:

Reservations accepted for parties as small as two.

(Published in our weekly One & One Newsletter on Saturday, Nov 23, 2013)

Cheers Brunchies™,

Andrea

 

The Birthday Brunch. Part II

My 20 person birthday brunch: Gusto, on Greenwich Ave btwn 7th Ave & Perry St. (For the one-on-one birthday brunch Part I post, see here)

While I originally planned to rent half of the back section of Bread in SoHo, ultimately the price at Gusto was just impossible to beat. I wanted my friends to have more food and more booze for their money. Gusto has a $22 prix fixe which includes an Appetizer, an Entree, and Unlimited Mimosa’s and Bloodys. It was a no-brainer.

The other thing that sealed the deal was the fact that Gusto has a space in the back with 4 round tables and booths. (Booth’s make everything better don’t they?!) Fully packed, the space can fit 28 seated. It’s not a completely closed off space so you don’t feel isolated, but you do feel like you are there with your group primarily.

Gusto’s back section would also be great for a social or even a “networking” brunch where you would want a “stand-greet-cocktail” situation before you sit down. Going to Gusto for this year’s large group birthday brunch was just easy.

In summary, Gusto is: *Great prix fix deal, *Good option for birthday party group brunch, *Great back section for group events, *The banana bread pudding (PANE AFFOGATO vinsanto & cinnamon soaked Italian toast with caramelized bananas) rocks. *And, the Chocolate cake with butterscotch compote is a birthday girl’s dream.

I’m thinking of throwing a larger brunch party in Gusto’s back section since the space just works. It will be for BrunchCritic fans. Stay tuned.

Map & Photos: Gusto Ristorante e Bar Americano

Easter on the horizon. Sunday, March 31st.

So what’s your plan for the Easter Holiday? And how can I help?

Have you seen the list of 2013 Easter picks that BrunchCritic compiled? You can check them out here:

 

 

 

Do you have any other specific requests that we can help with? Restaurant size? entrees? prix fix details? Let me know! And we’ll help find the perfect place for you and your Easter family and friends.

Where to brunch when it’s sunny, but still not quite spring

We are starting to get teased. It’s glorious outside…but still pretty chilly. For that “Indoors-But-Feels-Like-It’s-Outdoors feel,” here are 3 places to check out today.

1. Upstairs at The Kimberly Hotel, penthouse level, with glass windows and views on all sides. And it’s a brunch spot that Does take Reservations. God bless ‘em.

Another good couple of perks is that Upstairs has jazz on Sundays and patrons receive a complimentary mimosa or bloody Mary.

Upstairs: Midtown at 145 E. 50th St., btwn Lexington & Third Ave., at Penthouse Level, Kimberly Hotel.

2. Barbuto in the West Village is an underrated brunch spot with an airy, minimalist atmosphere. The restaurant is enclosed on three sides by floor to ceiling, glass garage doors that can be opened and shut. This time of the year they will be closed, but it’s lovely to be able to brunch while looking outside on a day like today. Barbuto is also a great place if you are looking for a brunch that isn’t going to make you want to fall asleep afterwards from food overload. The portions are always just right.

Barbuto: West Village near Meatpacking District, 775 Washington St., at W.12th St. And that’s West 12th Street, not Little West 12th Street. People are always making that mistake, and I’ve seen numerous people perplexed outside each of those addresses when they realize they are in the wrong location.

3. August is known for great food, a quaint atmosphere, and their incredible back section complete with cobblestones and a glass roof. Also it’s good for impressing-out-of-towners, and is in a key location for strolling along Bleecker street afterwards.

August: 359 Bleecker, between Charles and W. 10th.

And there ‘ya go. These three brunch spots are indoors, but it Feels like they’re outside. And that’s what matters. Happy Sunday in March. Spring is almost here. (And so is March Madness….yaaey!)