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NYC Best of Brunch

  • l
  • LAM07 Aug 11, 2008 02:25 PM
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Hi - I am looking for advice on where to take a party of 5 (parents and grandparents) out for a celebration brunch in NYC this weekend. Looking for a place that has good food and atmosphere and, most importantly, is not too hard on the wallet. Thanks in advance!

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  1. Here are the ones that I believe have space for a large party / group, most take reservations, especially if you plan to bring that many people:

    - Pastis (communal table)
    - The Neptune Room (communal table)
    - Freemans (they have a private room)
    - Jane (private room downstairs)
    - The Smith (Jane and Neptune Room's sister restaurant)
    - Devin Tavern (huge space, private room downstairs, many large tables) -- probably the most expensive in the list, though
    - Morandi (also quite large, and a nice space)
    - 'inoteca (downstairs room)
    - Five Points (space for larger parties is in back -- there's a tables and a booth)
    - Blue Ribbon Bakery (they can seat bigger groups downstairs)
    - Cookshop (they have booths and tables that can seat 6)
    - Stanton Social (have an upstairs bar/lounge area that can be used, too) -- also on the pricey side, and it's all small plates

    I'd choose Five Points, Cookshop, or Stanton Social for somewhere a little more upscale and comfy.

    4 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      k, do you know what the current policy on blue ribbon bakery and reservations? can you reserve if you're bringing a big group?

      1. re: cimui

        Reservations accepted for parties of 5 or more, and a private dining room for up to 10 is available (although I swear I've seen even larger parties at brunch on the way to the restroom). I think they usually put large parties on the lower level, though, so you miss out on the nice bright airy interior of the ground floor. But you're closer to the delicious smell of freshly baked bread.

        1. re: kathryn

          thanks, k -- you always, infallably know these things. i think it's related to your ability to pull out a chowhound link that relates to pretty much anything.

          i like the BRB cave! it feels kind of like a secret hiding place.

          1. re: cimui

            Aw, thanks.

            I love BRB for brunch, but they don't have as much sweet stuff on their menu as others. French toast, but no pancakes or waffles. But ability to get their regular appetizers, etc. menu is a bonus (bone marrow for breakfast)!

            A delicious secret hiding place! Yum. Sometimes I want to steal a loaf on the way back up the staircase.

    2. I think Perry St. offers the best value for brunch at $24 for 3 courses, the food is great, as are the atmosphere and service.

      1. If the Upper East Side is an option, the Corner Cafe & Bakery (formerly Yura Cafe) on 92nd and Third is one of my favorite brunch places anywhere. The prices are extremely reasonable, and the food is consistently amazing. My mother has a hard time enjoying herself when restaurant prices are too high, and if the food is bad to boot, she'll grumble about it for 2 weeks. Corner Cafe is the only place I've ever taken her where she's more than willing to go back. You can very easily enjoy and enormous and delicious brunch for $15 per person. If you're feeling particularly decadent they have a custardy bread pudding that's sweet and savory and unbelievable. It's always busy and bustling, and the service is quick and attentive. Not sure what the reservation policy is, but the wait is short...and you can browse the counter and think about what you might want to take home for dinner after you enjoy the brunch.

        1. Perilla serves a really nice, elegant brunch. Everything we tried was delicious, and the drinks were very tasty. Had brunch around 1pm and it was pretty quiet in there. While the food may add up more than brunch elsewhere (most entrees come without sides), it's really a great deal for Perilla. Check out the prices... I think the brunch entrees are $10 - $15, plus any bacon or potatoes you want. The poached eggs on biscuits w/ smoked salmon were fantastic.

          2 Replies
          1. re: erin07nyc

            The problems with Perilla's brunch are that the selection is small, there are no appetizers, and any sides are extra. The quality of the food is also not equal to what is served at dinner. I am a big fan of Perilla (for dinner) but I found the brunch unimpressive and overpriced.

            1. re: rrems

              That's been my sense too, from looking at the menu - very limited. Keep trying to make it there for dinner, but we tend to go out to eat in our neighborhood for dinner during the week, and for lunch on the weekends.

          2. I love Josie's Juice Bar - there's one on the upper west side - at 72nd and Amsterdam and one on the east side, but I'm not sure of the exact location of that one. The only thing is if your family are traditionalists, they might not dig it...it's dairy free.

            1. Thanks, I looked up all of your choices, they seem fabulous !

              1. I really love brunch at Sarabeth's restaurant at the Whitney Museum. It's not too expensive, and the omelets are the best I've ever had. I took my Mom there when she visited New York last December and she really enjoyed her waffle. They have sides of chicken-apple sausage or crispy bacon (I'd recommend getting both and sharing). It makes for a very pleasant morning to have brunch with a mimosa or a bloody mary and then to wander upstairs to see the contemporary art exhibits before leaving.

                1. Mesa Grill has a great brunch. It's dinner/lunch menu gets mixed reviews, but the brunch is somewhat different than your standard fare. And if your family are tourists, they can go home and say they ate at Bobby Flay's restaurant.