Will be in Manhattan on a Sunday in late August--what do NYC Chowhounds recommend in terms of brunch? As in...somewhere it's worth making reservations for, now (assuming this is possible...)?
We'll be staying on W 50th near 8th, but pretty much all of Manhattan is, as it were, our oyster.
Price range? no object.
Style? no particular limits.
cuisines? other than "not sushi," we're pretty darned open.
Thanks? many, in advance
No one will agree but I think The Water Club on 30th is an outstanding restaurant with great views, good food, good service and grand atmosphere. I have always had an enjoyable visit there. There's something about dining on the water that makes your meal more enjoyable. I hope you enjoy your trip. Good luck.
The Water Club @ The East River at 30th St., New York, NY 212 - 683 - 3333. http://www.thewaterclub.com/
EDITED...Thanks RGR. The Water Club website menu states you can serve yourself or your waiter will serve you. Sorry about the mistake on the others. Can you give the OP some good ideas so I can add it to my future plans for weekend brunch. Where's your favorite. I know you have one. What about Maialino? Or what about Craft Bar. Thanks.
Maialino @ 2 Lexington Ave., New York, NY 212 - 777 - 2410.
The Water Club
500 E 30th Street, New York, NY 10016
FYI. Daniel and Le Bernardin do not serve brunch. Daniel does not serve lunch. Period. Le Bernardin serves lunch Mon.-Fri. Jean Georges serves lunch (not a brunch menu) Mon.-Sat. As for Gramercy Tavern, the dining room serves lunch Mon.-Fri. (no brunch on the weekend), while the Tavern Room is open seven days a week and serves the same menu (no brunch menu on the weekend) at all times.
As for the Water Club, I can't agree or disagree since we've never been there. But I can say with assurance that I will never go there for brunch because it's a buffet, and I detest buffets.
Prune, as many will tell you, is great - but it's no reservation. Be prepared for a wait.
Other brunches I've had over the last year or so that I've been quite happy with, in no particular order:
The Sunday Smorgasbord at Aquavit (do they still do that?)
Probably of the above Savoy, Craftbar and JoeDoe (especially the corned duck hash) stood out the most.
If you're willing to venture to Brooklyn:
65 E 55th St, New York, NY 10022
70 Prince Street, New York, NY 10012
900 Broadway, New York, NY 10003
200 9th Avenue, New York, NY 10011
210 Elizabeth Street, New York, NY 10012
45 East 1st Street, New York, NY 10003
316 Bowery, New York, NY 10012
117 Perry Street, New York, NY 10014
"The Sunday Smorgasbord at Aquavit (do they still do that?)"
Yes, they do.
Normally, I detest buffets and avoid them like the proverbial plague. However, I made an exception for Aquavit's smorgasbord. The array of herrings was amazing. All were delicious, as were the various salmons. There was a very good hot soup (iirc, acorn squash) and some decent salads. The hot dishes were mediocre. Sadly, that included the Swedish meatballs which were seriously delicious when we had them at the AQ Cafe in the Scandanavia House. Nothing on the dessert table tempted me.
Best Breakfast and Brunch in Manhattan, 2010 Version
Out of those, I'd have to say that my favorites lately have been Locanda Verde, Shopsin's, Clinton Street Baking Company (but only on weekdays), Prune (though the wait can be killer -- you can't wait inside and there's very little shade on that block), Five Points, Blue Ribbon Bakery, and Minetta Tavern (great atmosphere, great food, great service, but a bit overpriced). Had a very nice one at the Breslin recently as well. Haven't tried Maialino, Faustina, or Colicchio & Sons yet, but they're on my list. YMMV of course given your preferences regarding certain dishes and menu offerings (savory vs sweet, lunchy vs breakfasty).
113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012
31 Great Jones St, New York, NY 10012
Blue Ribbon Bakery
33 Bedford St, New York, NY 10014
377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013
20 W 29th St, New York, NY 10001
2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010
Colicchio & Sons
85 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011
I forgot Five Points! Glad you brought it up. Also, both of their sister restaurants - Hundred Acres and Cookshop - have highly recommendable brunches as well.
Faustina was a little underwhelming, I thought. I'm awful fond of Conant, but for whatever reason Faustina just wasn't gelling for me.
31 Great Jones St, New York, NY 10012
38 MacDougal St., New York, NY 10012