01/16/17 9:50am
fried rabbit

Why settle for pancakes when you could have fried rabbit and biscuits? Photo: Barano

If you’re anything like me, when you wake up hungry on the weekends you eat something at home fairly soon after rising and then start thinking about LUNCH. Not brunch.

I will always choose Chinese food for breakfast. Thank (insert whomever or whatever you worship here) for dim sum! Don’t get me wrong, I love a fried egg and toast slathered in butter and preserves with a fiery passion. But I can make that myself, at home, at 8 or 9 a.m. in about, 3 minutes?

Sadly for me and the others like me, New York City is a brunchers town. Everyone just loves brunch– though I suspect it’s only a certain group of 20 and 30-somethings who truly partake, and the rest of us are meant to wax nostalgic about the days when we were out until 3am, waking up at 10 or 11 a.m. and wanting food ASAP, preferably with a cocktail on the side.

Not all hope is lost, however. Some restaurants understand that simply putting an egg on top of an entree doesn’t necessarily make it better. And there are always spots that don’t traffic in brunch at all–typically sandwich shops and “ethnic” restaurants. Bless them.

Here are some of those places. And the next time it’s a Saturday or Sunday and you want to eat goddamn food at lunchtime that’s not eggs and bacon or pancakes, thank me. Actually, thank these spots! (more…)

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09/19/16 11:14am

lellasign

There is no shortage of red sauce Italian cuisine in the Graham Avenue section of Williamsburg. Lella Alimentari though, may be the only Italian spot in the neighborhood that makes you forget you’re in Brooklyn. The bustling grocery-café-piadineria is run by the delightfully, aggressively Italian husband-and-wife team of Massimiliano Nanni and Paola Citterio, who treat it as second home.

Italian staples like dried pasta, olive oil and canned tomatoes line the walls, while customers shout their orders over the sound of the espresso machine and a tall counter filled with baked goods and deli staples. Lella Alimentari is busiest in the mornings, when locals come in for strong coffee and maybe a sit-down breakfast of granola with fruit and yogurt or a frittata of the day (a bargain at $5 for a hefty slice). Lella is open all day to serve their specialty–piadine, an Italian flatbread, thin but dense with a doughy center and crisp outer layer. (more…)

08/08/16 10:13am
This is not your standard breakfast sandwich. Photo: Annaliese Griffin

This is not your average breakfast sandwich. Photo: Annaliese Griffin

The Four Horsemen, the Grand Street restaurant owned by LCD Soundsystem frontman and wine lover James Murphy, has become one of Williamsburg’s best crowded rooms at night. The wine list is exciting and ever changing, the food is eclectic and it’s the kind of place you tend to run into friends you haven’t seen in awhile. Hop on a stool at the bar, ask the server what you should drink and then order some cheeses and meats to share. Please also try the humbly named “fried potatoes,” which are an amped up version of patatas bravas, the stalwart and occasionally excellent Spanish tapa. Here they arrive loaded with smoky-sweet tomato chipotle sauce and a creamy aioli. Add a friend and you’ve got a perfect evening.

What most people don’t know though, is that The Four Horsemen is one of North Brooklyn’s best-kept brunch secrets. It’s not crowded (yet), they make a very solid Bloody Mary (available by the carafe for $30!), the wine list is exceptional and best of all, there’s nary a pancake in sight.  (more…)

04/07/14 9:50am

Rabbit cappelacci pasta with mole rojo and masa was a recent dinner menu item. Photo: Grindhaus

Rabbit cappelacci pasta with mole rojo and masa was a recent dinner menu item. Photo: Grindhaus

With the return of warm and sunny weather, day trips to Red Hook are back on your weekend menu, and there’s a new culinary destination worth the trip on the B61. Grindhaus quietly opened back in December, following a delay of more than a year thanks to Hurricane Sandy. Owner Erin Norris, a longtime Red Hook resident, used to sell sausages at the bygone Red Hook Mercado, which explains the restaurant’s sausage-centric name, although the long-in-the-making eatery has shifted focus away from wieners and toward a small, daily-changing menu that includes housemade pasta dishes, fresh-baked breads, interesting salads and creative local seafood options, like a surf clam crudo and striped bass head with coconut, mushroom and brown butter.

Grindhaus has attracted positive buzz based on the strength of some truly beautiful dinner dishes, and last week expanded with a weekend lunch menu.
(more…)

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12/20/13 12:30pm
Sat December 28, 2013
Williamsburg cocktail bar Battery Harris is now serving a bottomless brunch of dishes like oxtail hash (above) and rum raisin French toast for $25 on weekends. Photo: Battery Harris

Williamsburg cocktail bar Battery Harris is now serving a bottomless brunch of dishes like oxtail hash (above) and rum raisin French toast for $25 on weekends. Photo: Battery Harris

It will come as no shocker to hear how much we love brunch at BB. We love to brunch in bars, in hotels, while we holiday shop; at prix-fixe prices; and we even shared our favorite, under-the-radar brunch spots back in the spring. Needless to say, we never get tired of talking about our breakfast-lunch hybrid eating habits, and we have one more to add to the list: Battery Harris in Williamsburg recently started offering a bottomless brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. Chef Jeff Frankel, formerly of the SoHo staple Jack’s Wife Freda, just overhauled the craft brew/cocktail bar’s food menu, and now, from noon to 4pm on weekends, you can enjoy endless amounts of brunch dishes like jerk eggs benedict, oxtail hash and rum raisin French toast for $25. Better yet, BH will be open throughout the holidays, making it the perfect place to sober up after your hot buttered rum bender.

12/17/13 2:00pm
Sat December 21, 2013
Emma Bracy (left) and Ben Martel combined their loves of brunch food and fine local design to create the Holiday Brunch Bazaar, which takes place one last time at Tutu's this Saturday: Photo: Press Vintage

Emma Bracy (left) and Ben Martel combined their loves of brunch food and fine local design to create Brunch Bazaar, as a place where you can eat and flea at the same time– a special holiday iteration is happening this Saturday at Tutu’s: Photo: Press Vintage

The best things in life are better when combined, which is why we’re in love with the Holiday Brunch Bazaar, wrapping up its inaugural run on Saturday at Tutu’s. The pop-up event, offering brunch in the front and local vendors’ treasures and creations in the back, will surely charm your festive socks off. Don’t miss Various Love Affairs–women’s clothing inspired by love and handmade in the city–and Alkhemi9, a line of gorgeous jewelry from Brooklyn based designer Soull Ogun. Entry to the bazaar is free; separate fee required for brunch.

10/31/13 4:18pm
It's not quite so burnished in real life--the filter I used when I took these is a little our of control. Photo: Annaliese Griffin

It’s not quite so burnished in real life–the filter I used when I took these is a little out of control. Photo: Annaliese Griffin

River Styx, the newish restaurant at the end of Greenpoint Avenue that Yelpers love to hate and the rest of us love to eat at, recently started serving brunch. For now, the weekends are serene and placid, light filtering in through the skylights, nary a waitlist in sight. With nachos, burgers, and Saltie focaccia with eggs any way you like on the menu, plus a spicy bloody mary that comes with pickled jalapeños and carrots, it’s sure to be packed to the gills soon, so get there while it’s still all yours to enjoy. The thing you won’t be able to stop thinking about until you eat again? The cinnamon bun. Basically, they take a spiral of sweet, cinnamon-and-sugar-laden dough and pop it in the wood fired oven, let it puff and cook, and then ladle more cinnamon-sugar sauce over the top so that it’s swimming in it. Beware! The bun comes to the table so hot that it should scare you. Melted sugar is no joke–it will destroy the roof of your mouth in seconds. The thing to do is to order it at the same time as you entrees and then split it as a sort of brunch dessert, allowing the cooling time while you sip your drink and eat your eggs. By the time you’re done it will still be hot, but no longer dangerously so. Plan on coming back for seconds the following weekend.

10/28/13 7:00am

Lobster Benedict arrives with juicy lump meat topping a spongy house-made crumpet, perfectly poached egg and savory Bernaise sauce at The Elm's new Sunday Brunch. Photo: Brendan Spiegel

Lobster Benedict arrives with juicy lump meat topping a spongy house-made crumpet, perfectly poached egg and savory Bernaise sauce at The Elm’s new Sunday Brunch. Photo: Brendan Spiegel

How did The Elm become the most-talked-about restaurant in Brooklyn without being, well, talked about in Brooklyn? Since opening inside Williamsburg’s King & Grove Hotel in July, The Elm has earned two coveted stars from The New York Times, near constant coverage on Eater and a place on Esquire’s best new restaurants of 2013 list. All this while Brooklynites themselves were filing right past the restaurant all summer on their way to King & Grove’s much more in-demand pool party.

The buzz is due to the presence of Paul Liebrandt, the chef, who has consistently captured the food world’s attention over the past decade for his daring, French-influenced cuisine–as well as for his tendency to get in the kind of spats with restaurant owners that lead to short stints in the kitchen. He most recently made waves at Corton in Tribeca, cooking up two Michelin stars and rave reviews before being lured to Brooklyn by the hip new hotel–he’s since left Corton altogether. (more…)

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