Saturday, May 22, 2010

Boozy Brunch at Breslin Bar & Dining Room

My first Sunday in NY, I met my (then and now) cook friends at the newish Breslin Bar & Dining Room in the uber hip and hipstery Ace Hotel (Stumptown is in the building, folks) for a long and lazy, boozy brunch. Though I can't say this is the best brunch I've had by a long shot—there were some misses along with the hits—I gotta say, I really appreciated the fact that we were able to sit down right away sans rezzies in this 130-seat, two-storey eatery adorned in all manner of pig-, caribou- and deer-themed accoutrement.

And I really liked that we were able to wile away the hours—3-plus hours to be sure—without feeling any kind of pressure from our server to get the hell out. With that said, I did manage to snap a few of those hits and misses while catching up with the ladies ...
YSH's steak 'n egg special with asparagus was a hit, so she said.

Home-made ciabatta doughnuts: 2 said hit, 2 said miss. I fell into the latter category ... the dough was just a bit too chewy and boozy for my taste (the vanilla cognac hadn't been properly cooked off—it overpowered). Thumbs up on the banana ice cream though.

Chargrilled lamb burger with cumin mayo and thrice cooked chips — This was my order. I asked for a side of ketchup only to be told by my server that the burger was best left unadulterated by such pedestrian sauce as ketchup. (OK, she didn't quite say it that way, but that was the gist of her tone ...). So, of course, I tried it the way the chef meant for it to be eaten. It was nice, though nothing terribly special; I honestly didn't detect anything worked into the meat (spices, sauces, herbs of any kind) to make it stand out ... the cumin mayo made it a little more interesting as did the feta cheese and raw red onions ... hmm, but not by much. So, I slapped on the ketchup, and it was 10 times better.

The Eton mess — tasted better than it looked ... presentation was a bit, well, ugly ... I have to admit I'm not the biggest fan of meringue, though the pineapples were delightful especially paired with the mint.

I'd say the best parts of the meal were Breslin's cocktails, which are all made with fresh-squeezed juices and house-made syrups. My "Rush of Blood to the Head" (what a great name) comprising Prosecco with blood orange liqueur, hibiscus syrup and lemon zest was thirst-quenchingly delicious on this warm, sunshiney Sunday afternoon. So were YSH's zesty bloody Mary and MK's silky smooth "Liquid Swords" made of rye whiskey, orange curacao, aperol and green chartreuse with orange zest.

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