ONE for your HeelsThe Clocktower
From the moment you arrive at this adorable SoHo nook, you know you're somewhere special. The hanging flower garden outside, the French flag, the colorful tile floor, and the floor to ceiling windows all transport you effortlessly to that tranquil European mindset New Yorkers find too rarely. Inside, the staff is warm, nearly flirtatious, and make you feel like one of them. It get's crowded and a bit noisy, but it's fun and oh so French, so leave your claustrophobic New York mentality at the door. Feel free to relax, be yourself and throw on those casual kicks. There's no judgement at the door.
WHAT TO EAT
Rich, creamy, sweet and savory, every flavor on the menu reaches it's full potential so you walk away feeling stuffed and satisfied. The Avocado Tartine is excellent, not terribly French, and a fresh mix of avocado, jalepenos, and artfully sliced radishes. The French Toast is that devious delicacy that will call you into the Red Light district. It's soft, sweet and draped in creme fraiche that will only make you feel guilty if you let it.
WHAT TO DRINK
There's a clever and diverse cocktail menu, with names like Tanya Harding, Le Frida, Cyndi Lauper and the Witches of SoHo. The Witches of SoHo is actually nothing like a dark, frothy witch's brew, but more like a fresh citrus beverage based in gin, with some chartreuse for kicks and maraschino liquor for sweetness.
Brunch reservations are accepted for parties as small as two.
To arrive at The Clocktower, you'll walk up a dimly lit, long, white, circular staircase that makes you feel like you are going to an exclusive club. Never mind the snooty process at the host/hostess stand, instead focus on the kick-ass interior. The Clocktower conveys luxury. The interior is stunning and elegant, and great for a special occasion. Because it's brunch, and not dinner, the lights are on and you can appreciate the fine crown molding above the walls, the royal blue chairs and banquettes set against dark wood, and expertly framed photos hanging on the tall walls. At The Clocktower you're best bet for proper attire is a pair of nice boots or strap-y heels. Make an event out of it, grab your credit card, and go to celebrate.
What to Eat
The key is to go with a group so you can try everything, because there are so many hits here. The breakfast items are good. The lunchie items are great. Before you have sweets for dessert, start with the savory. The Macaroni & Cheese is outstanding and is a different take on the traditional dish. It has jumbo noodles, a light cream sauce, and only a few pieces of shaved cheese are on top. It's just as sophisticated as the restaurant itself. The Tuna Tataki should be next on your list. At the end of your meal, don't miss the Strawberries and Cream. This is nothing like it sounds, and the name doesn't do it justice. While eating it, your guests will be wowed by both the presentation and the flavor.
What to Drink
I personally loved the milk, as it arrives in a milk carton made of glass, and is garnished with a red and white straw. But for a celebration, you need a cocktail, and there's nothing better than the Cold Fashioned made with cold-infused coffee, Bulleit Bourbon, Ford Amaro, Fernet Branca, orange bitters, Muscovado syrup and orange oils.
Brunch reservations are accepted and recommended.