351 East 12th St., (between 1st Ave. and 2nd Ave.)
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. 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!)
For 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!)
What 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!
Reservations accepted for parties as small as two.
(Published in our weekly One & One Newsletter on Saturday, Nov 23, 2013)