Tag Archives: brunch

Sunday Brunch at Peels

Peels Restaurant on the Bowery

During our recent visit to the Hester Street Fair Summer Picnic, we thoroughly enjoyed a s’mores cupcake from Peels on the Bowery.

This tiny little ball of decadence was all the reminder we needed that we still hadn’t stopped by for brunch, even though we’ve enjoyed dinner there.

Peels is the sister restaurant to another perennial brunch favorite, Freemans, known for simple, rustic American cuisine and atmosphere. Luckily for us, Peels doesn’t stray too far from this winning formula.

Inside, the space gives off a country farmhouse feel, with its white pressed tin ceiling and communal tables. Large windows on both floors flood the interior with natural light.

We were seated at the end of the downstairs bar, a long beautifully crafted wooden countertop overlooking a galley kitchen where chefs buzzed around, taking freshly-made biscuits of the oven and preparing milkshakes and other treats.

The menu is full of the same kind of down-home charm as the restaurant—it mostly features Southern-inspired comfort food.

Fried Chicken Sandwich from Peels

Buttermilk Flapjacks from Peels

Laura had a fried chicken sandwich with honey mustard and fries—she says Peels serves the best fried chicken she’s ever had.

I had the buttermilk flap jacks served with blackberry compote on top. The pancakes were perfectly crispy around the edges while the compote provided a sharp contrast to their buttery texture.

Gypsy Rose at Peels

Laura completed the Southern theme with a Gypsy Rose cocktail—sloe gin, cherry heering, topped with champagne—which was refreshing and had a nice sanguine tint.

Rather than my usual coffee and brunch cocktail I instead opted for one of Peels’ leaded milkshakes. The Coffee Rum Affogato was a creamy blend of rum, espresso, and ice cream served in a charming little milk bottle.

Leaded Milkshake at Peels

We were already big fans of Momofuku Milk Bar’s adult milkshakes, but thought this one tasted creamier and packed more of a punch.

Since we enjoyed the aforementioned s’mores cupcake so much, we decided to try another one of pastry chef Shuna Fish Lydon’s creations.

(It’s worth noting that Shuna, in addition to being a kick-ass chef, is also a great blogger and photographer herself.)

Blackberry Eton Mess Fool at Peels

We opted for the blackberry Eton mess fool—an old British standby, made with fresh blackberries, meringues and cream, only Shuna’s version was topped with an almost-effervescent mint ice cream. Incredibly refreshing and palate-cleansing.

We can’t wait to return on a hot day for another leaded milkshake, perfect for enjoying at the bar as sunlight and laughter fills the dining room. Now if only they’d install a porch swing out front…

– Ryan

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Sunday Brunch At Double Crown

DIY Bloody Mary Bar

Despite the grey morning, our adventurous spirit was intact as we headed to brunch in the East Village. Today, we tried Double Crown, the sister restaurant of our perennial favorite, Public. Double Crown is nestled on the Bowery, just a few steps away from another favorite, Peels, and only a few blocks away from Public.

The Bar at Double Crown

Upon entering, the first thing we noticed was how wide open Double Crown is, which is contrary to the twists and turns of Public’s space. Double Crown is a massive dining room, filled with Edison bulb chandeliers, rich teak wood, and neon lights, for good measure. The restaurant, in its British-Indio-Asian glory, was designed by AvroKO, the same design team behind S&R favorites Public and Quality Meats.

Downstairs at Double Crown

The lush design continues downstairs. When you descend, you’re greeted by a tranquil sitting room at the bottom of the stairs, complete with flowers floating in a vessel and a comfy red leather chair. There is also a large private dining room downstairs. The hallway leading to the restrooms is truly captivating, as it is covered, floor-to-ceiling, with the most intricately carved wood.

Wood Carved Walls

Sitting Room at Double Crown

The food served by Chef Brad Farmerie—a wild fusion of British and southeast Asian cuisine—is every bit as good as the space itself.

Flowers And Coffee

Double Crown Fruit Salad

We both started out with a bowl of mixed fruit salad which included blueberries, clementines, grapefruit, mangos, and pomelos, top with pickled watermelon. The fruit, served in a decorative bowl, was market-fresh and the perfect blend of sweet and sour.

Pork Belly With Fried Egg

Burger And Bottlerocket

For our main courses, we had the crispy pork belly, served on steamed rice with chili-caramel, mint and a fried egg, and the New York Strip steak burger, served with massive fries of daikon radish, cut into flawless rectangular prisms and stacked like Lincoln Logs.

The pork belly was fork-tender and set off perfectly by the chili’s spice, the caramel’s sweetness and the pungent mint. The burger was a tender, meaty puck, served on a bun that would put the most elaborate “everything” bagel to shame.

Scented Grapefruit Collins and Pimm's No. 1 Cup

For drinks, we had the Scented Grapefruit Collins and the Pimm’s No. 1 Cup. If you can’t already tell, we are big fans of the Pimm’s Cup—this one, accented with strawberries, did not disappoint. The Collins had Belvedere pink grapefruit vodka, Campari, Earl Grey syrup, mint and lemon, topped with soda.

We also had a Bottlerocket, which was the favorite of the trio we sampled. Pernod Absinthe, layered with pineapple, white cranberry, maple-grenadine, and topped with sparkling wine—a really stellar combination.

DIY Bloody Mary

Lastly, we took a shot at their famous do-it-yourself Bloody Mary bar, which greets you as you first enter the restaurant. They provide you with a glass of vodka and you proceed to add as much tomato juice, lemon juice, coriander, grated ginger, piccalilli, caper berries, celery salt, Chinese black vinegar, Sriracha, Worcestershire sauce, pink peppercorns, and star anise as you can pile into your glass. Did you get all that? (And that’s not even a complete list.)

We came away with a concoction that wasn’t so spicy that we had to sweat through it for half an hour, but still had some decent heat in it. It was entertaining to watch other patrons try to make exactly what they wanted, given such an overwhelming ingredient list.

Double Crown’s food and attentive service will absolutely be worth checking out again, and the space is worth the price of admission alone. Although it may not replace the sentimental spot that Public has in our hearts, we would definitely be interested in moving in permanently should a room ever open up.

– Ryan and Laura

In the interest of full disclosure, Double Crown kindly invited us to dine on them today. However, our food and service was still top-notch and we recommend them whole-heartedly, without reservations.

Double Crown on Urbanspoon

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Sunday Brunch At Public

One of our favorite spots for a lazy sunday brunch is Public on Elizabeth Street in Nolita. We like to leave the apartment around 10 minutes before noon—this way we get there just after the dining room is full but before the first table turnover, so we can beat the wait times.

We love to spend our brief wait (typically 15 minutes or less) reading through the Sunday New York Times in their cozy sitting room, adjacent to the bar. Their dining room is flooded with natural light and refreshing to be in, especially compared to some of the small, cavernous restaurants in the city. However, most of the time, if we’re lucky, they seat us out on the terrace.

We are also quite fond of Public because of their prix fixe brunch, which includes coffee or tea, a brunch cocktail and a brunch entrée.

The menu is small, but each dish is so good (they are Michelin-starred, after all), that you can’t really go wrong. We are particularly fond of the tea-smoked salmon, spinach and poached eggs on toasted sourdough with yuzu hollandaise and the grilled venison burger on a miso bun with tomato chili jam and cassava chips. Although, today, a new addition caught our eyes:

On the left are Ryan’s black pudding waffles with red wine poached pears and whipped foie gras butter. The waffles were slightly savory, but still maintained plenty of sweetness, complimented by the creamy fattiness of the whipped foie gras. The ruby-tinged pears were ripe with cherry notes from the wine and almost seemed as though they had been macerated in sherry rather than red wine.

It seems as though we’ve found a new favorite dish—the perfect marriage of breakfast sweet and lunch savory. And isn’t that the true definition of brunch?

We wish you a very happy Mother’s Day to you and yours!

– Laura and Ryan

Public on Urbanspoon

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