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Tips for an "elegant Sunday brunch" in Manhattan?

I will be in Manhattan at the end of September to celebrate our first wedding anniversary. I've been thinking of things to do (we're re regulars but inside tips always welcome) but what I'd really like to do is take my husband for brunch. Any tips?

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  1. I haven't been, but my friend has raved about this place: http://www.parkermeridien.com/norma-s...

    7 Replies
    1. re: cidonie

      norma's is excellent. also, i hear gramercy tavern and rainbow room.

      1. re: cidonie

        Norma's is overpriced and gimmicky; there's way better brunches out there, especially if you want pancakes or French Toast without lapsing into an instant coma.

        Additionally, Gramercy Tavern doesn't serve breakfasty items -- it's just regular lunch on the weekends.

        If you want something more upscale AND want to make reservations, try Balthazar, Neptune Room, Cookshop, Five Points, the Cafe at Country, or Ouest. If you don't mind a wait and want something homey, go for Sarabeth's, Clinton St, Prune (it's very quirky), or Blue Ribbon Bakery, maybe Jane.

        1. re: kathryn

          I love brunch at Balthazar, but they don't take reservations.

          1. re: ChefJune

            They do. I've done it many times before

          2. re: kathryn

            Sarabeth's -- at least the one on Madison is so overrated! The food is mediocre and forgettable and tourists line up for ages to get in. There are much better choices around there (my neighborhood) that either take reservations or don't force you to wait for an hour on the sidewalk.

            1. re: kathryn

              I agree that Norma's is way overpriced and gimmicky. It is also very hectic there, and the room isn't very nice. Five Points is extremely crowded and loud, but the food is good. For a more laid back, upscale brunch i think Gramercy Tavern or 11 Madison Park would be good. (i recently had a bad experience with weekday lunch at 11MP, but have enjoyed the brunch there in the past).

              1. re: twiggles

                Re: Gramercy Tavern. That would be the Tavern Room because the main dining room does not serve brunch

          3. Try the brunch at Eleven Madison Park. It is excellent.

            3 Replies
            1. re: kobetobiko

              I agree with kobetobiko - the brunch at Eleven Madison is wonderful and you couldn't ask for a more elegant space.

              1. re: slcorlis

                ...although if you want pancakes or French Toast or eggs benedict, you should probably not go to EMP! It's more about the lunch-y items there.

                1. re: kathryn

                  Interesting you mentioning that, Kathryn. I agree with you. Funny thing is, when we were at EMP for brunch two weeks ago, I looked around and saw that most people were opting for the breakfast side of the menu. A shame, really, to miss an opportunity to have Chef Daniel Humm's exquisite French-inspired lunch dishes. We certainly didn't!

                  http://www.elevenmadisonpark.com

            2. Skip Manhattan and go to the River Cafe in Brooklyn. Its a little bit of a hike, but the view is awesome (think the entire lower Manhattan skyline in 3-D, including the Brooklyn Bridge.

              To avoid the brunch crowd I took my family there for a late lunch and had a ball there. We just sat at our table, taking in the view and taking our time....since they were not busy no one bothers to hurry us along.

              You will have a great time.

                1. EMP noted - definitelly making sure I book for lunch there.
                  River Cafe was kind of on my list - but I have been told it's the view thta's the main attraction - not so much the food. Is thta right?

                  Someone mentioned to me this weekend a place on LES (near Katz') for breakfast / brunch... forgot the name (it was after a few glasses of champagne). Anyone know?

                  1. I love 5 Points for brunch. Delicious and an airy, elegant interior, and I think you can sit outside too. www.fivepointsrestaurant.com