Brunch with Parents in Carroll Gardens/Cobble Hill
Parents, siblings and thier significant others are all coming to Brooklyn on Sunday for brunch. I am looking for a resturant in the Carroll Gardens/Cobble Hill neighborhoods that can easily accomodate for a party of 8.
If no brunch options - perhaps a place with a good lunch menu.
I've only been once for brunch, and it was last year, but I was very disappointed in the food ...dried out tiny bits of corned beef in my hash and rather boring menu. It is quite big, so it would certainly be a reasonable option for 8...but nothing special.
We had a good brunch at Union Smith last weekend, though that's the only meal of the day I would eat there (dinner wasn't good the one time I had it there). Watty and Meg would be another good choice and I've always enjoyed the food there. Char is great but too small. Chestnut would probably work though I find the food hit or miss. Apt 138 could handle 8 if you can deal with the hit or miss service (brunch food is generally tasty, esp fruit stuffed french toast).
8 people really isn't that big a deal for most NYC restaurants as long as you call ahead. In fact, most of the places in the area you describe will ONLY take reservations for parties of 6 or more.
Here are a few more options:
Buttermilk Channel (contemporary)
Robin Du Bois (eclectic)
Bar Tabac (french)
Will children be included? Union Smith is an easygoing restaurant that is good for children. In addition, the blog Eat It talks about several very good local brunch options.
Union Smith is terrible. I've lived in the neighborhood for 7 years and the best places are actually the newer ones:
Frankies 457 (ok, not that new)
Char No 4 (but only if no one is a vegetarian)
I think most of these places will take a reservation for a table for 8.
I actually have generally good experiences there with the food (though service is totally inconsistent). We go there quite a bit. Also agree that it is a good choice with kids. I know this is a bit late to the game given the brunch already happened, but wanted to comment for posterity! That said, Prime Meats is my favorite for brunch (again, food wise - have had awful service there twice when it was not crowded) and I like Bar Tabac, too. Or Luluc - especially for the pancakes. Think they are cash only, though.
I'm not much of a brunch (or breakfast food) person, but the pancakes at Luluc are life-changing. I can't personally vouch for the rest of the menu, but I recently took my parents when they were in the 'hood and there were no complaints.
I highly recommend Quercy, on Court Street. Had a lovely brunch there this past Sunday. Food and service were excellent, coffee was delicious, you get a mimosa/bloody mary/or plain old glass of wine (champagne incl.) with your brunch for approx. $15.95. And they can definitely accommodate a group of your size.
I totally agree with the above that Union Smith is awful.
I'd suggest Alma, on Columbia, which isn't that far (I'd walk over almost every single weekend from Carroll Gardens for brunch!). It's "Mexican." They've got an amazing view of lower Manhattan. Lovely cocktails, and the Mexican coffee is great (with tequila) is excellent on snowy awful winter days.
Usually people want to sit upstairs on the roofdeck (which is enclosed in the winter), but I've always preferred downstairs. There's never a wait for a table downstairs, and the service is better. They should be able to accommodate 8. I like their brunch menu much better than the dinner menu: the flautas are excellent appetizers, and they've got good guacemole and chips. They've got a range of sandwiches (tortas) and brunchier items. I'm a fan of the chilaquiles (with a poached egg, and unlike most chilaquiles I've had elsewhere, but far better!), and they sometimes have really good specials. It's reasonably child friendly. There is a steep flight of stairs-- although maybe there is elevator access from the bar below?-- which might be a consideration if you're got anyone with mobility issues.
I like Alma a lot.
Frankie's will be packed, and unless they take reservations for larger parties, I imagine you're in for a long wait. Prime Meats would be another option, but honestly, I'm not a huge fan, and the French toast is better at Frankie's (they use a different bread, oddly, at Prime Meats; it's just not as satisfying). There's also Buttermilk Channel, but again, the wait might be crazy.
Petite Cafe is super cute and not at all expensive; I don't like their homefries (I have had some BAD potatoes there), so that's a deal breaker for me, but it is a charming place with very nice staff. But, again, it's not the greatest food along that particular stretch.
Clover Club is awesome for a boozy brunch, particularly when brunch consists mostly of gin fizzes (that is, a proper Ramos Gin Fizz with egg whites). Oh, yum. But, the damage to your wallet would be substantial in that case. Let's just say it is a good thing I was very tipsy from the gin fizzes when I got the bill, as it helped dull the pain.
The Cuban place on Smith has fabulous coffee, but the food has always been forgettable. I used to grab a coffee to go from there and then have brunch elsewhere (yes, seriously; I'd always get a cocktail at the intended brunch destination, so the waiters seemed to forgive that obnoxiousness!).
I love brunch, and I used to brunch every Saturday and Sunday in Carroll Gardens, so I've got strong opinions on the subject!