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May 24, 2011 09:24 PM

Lacroix Brunch Anxiety

Guys, I need help.

I'm going to brunch at Lacroix on Sunday for the first time -- thanks urbanfabric for the $55 RueLaLa gift card heads up!

I looked over the menu and I am getting some serious anxiety. I mean I could get my money's worth at the raw bar alone. But I looked at the hors d'oevres, salads, and chef's table items and I literally want to try every single thing on the menu--a problem on a menu with over three dozen items on it.

I could deal if they just had typical brunch foods. But yogurt spheres? Old Bay macarons? Rhubarb soda?? I need to try these things just because I may never have the opportunity to have them ever again.

Some of the chef's table items are not as experimental but it will hard for me to pass up the rack of lamb, pork belly, and duck confit if they look good. Maybe I should just save room for the diver scallop sausage, lobster pot pie, and the smoked egg. But I never order rack of lamb or duck confit when eating out and I'll bet Lacroix's versions are excellent.

I'd like to squeeze in a Bloody Mary or two, and I almost forgot about the chocolate fountain and liquid nitrogen station. I always feel like I can handle it until I remember about the chocolate fountain.

What are your strategies for maximizing your tastes, enjoying the luxury (like all you can eat oysters and caviar), and not puking? Not appearing to restaurant staff as a complete glutton would be nice but I'm willing to let that slide.

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  1. Good luck barryg! We lose all sense of reason when we have Brunch at Lacroix. I am not a dessert person, but I maximize my enjoyment of the hors d'oeuvres, oysters, and my multiple trips through the kitchen. I am always amazed by the presentation. The scallop sausage is excellent! One delightful item, however simple, are the crispy potatoes. Every time we have gone we have had a different variety of fabulous menu items.

    My only piece of advice, would be to go slow and savor every morsel I have never puked if that helps. :-)

    1. No Seconds!! While most of the hors d'ouevres are bite-size, those bites add up. Make your way through them once and then head off to the kitchen.

      And just like at a regular buffet, lay off of the starches. While the potatoes might be wonderful, they will take up valuable real estate from the more exotic offerings.

      1. good strategies from crazyspice and philly ray! I love the diver scallop sausage too. One round through the cold stuff, and then off to the kitchen. get small portions of things, and don't be afraid to leave a little behind. That's my strategy for desserts, I fill my plate and have one bite of everything.

        don't go too slowly, though, don't give your stomach a chance to tell your brain to stop!

        also, you probably won't need to eat for the rest of the day. so, don't make any plans for dinner!

        AND, don't miss the cured meats in the kitchen... they are small and don't take up too much room :)

        1. That's the kind of problem I like to have! I try to skip things I can get elsewhere or have often. So, on the raw bar, I skip everything but the caviar (I love oysters but there are lots of opportunities for great oysters around here). For everything else: take just 1 item/small portion no matter how appealing it looks. If I take a bite of something I don't love, leave the rest (my natural inclination would be to finish anyway) and move on to the next thing. For the larger protein servings (the lamb is delicious), I just have a couple of bites. Definitely leave room for dessert!

          3 Replies
          1. re: Hungryin theBurbs

            Having just been recently and made the very mistakes you fear making, here is my advice:

            Do not dwell on the raw bar. I went through two rounds of oysters, caviar and shrimp cocktail to start of the meal, and the truth is it wasn't worth it. Though those shrimp were amazingly tender, the oysters had all been shucked long ago and given up their liquor, and none of the caviars were memorable.

            Do a round at the cold station (right as you enter). Many memorable bites were had here, including that old bay macaron, and I was particularly impressed by their execution on salads--they were all great.

            Don't miss their homemade charcuterie, and don't miss the homemade pickles and mustards that go with them.

            Take note of how long things seem to have been sitting under the heat lamp. A subtle parmesan-truffle-egg custard that I was very excited about had been cooked to hell by the lights. Certain meats also looked passed their prime, though my lamb chop was perfectly cooked.

            Spend sufficient time in the hot side dish area--many memorable tastes here. I loved the roasted wild mushrooms and the bananas with barley and cream--sounds nuts, totally delicious.

            Save room for dessert! And, ideally, try every one--they are sinfully rich, and awesome.

            I regret that I was too full for the chocolate fountain and liquid nitrogen station; will have to save those for anther visit.

            Have fun!

            1. re: nwinkler

              Thanks for all of the tips, everyone. This is all very helpful. I think I'm going to make it through this.

              nwinkler, what time were you there that the oysters were subpar and some of the hot items past their prime?

              1. re: barryg

                Good point--this was Easter Sunday and they were open later than usual; we had a 3pm table or thereabouts, I think.

          2. You have given me many smiles today, barryg. Every time I read this post, I felt happy.
            I loved, loved, loved brunch at Lacroix. And I loved the oysters and I loved the caviar - both items that I never get enough of. I went back for more caviar.

            You'll be fine. Although there is a huge variety of food, it is in small amounts - it doesn't seem overwhelming. As others have suggested, take small amounts, have a taste, and if it isn't marvelous, don't eat the whole thing.

            In addition to all the other wonders, there are/were unlimited fresh raspberries.

            4 Replies
            1. re: sylviag

              Reading this post has made me realize I have not treated my wife to a great meal in a long time. Can anyone tell me what the regular price is for the Sunday brunch? I see Barrg is using a $55 RueLaLa gift card. Thanks.

              1. re: erdenheim tumbler

                barryg is using a $100 gift card that he purchased for $55. I think the brunch is $55/person or around there.