Sunday Brunch with friends from out of town
Relatively new to the board. I've read numerous threads on brunch around the city, but I'm looking for something specific so hopefully someone can shed some light :)
I have friends coming from Toronto this weekend and Sunday brunch will be their last meal of the trip - the last meal being significant not because I have to "wow" them before sending them back, but because they'll be carrying their luggage :P I have a group of 7, so I'm searching for a place that will:
- accommodate a relatively large group, with enough room for luggage (so places like Joseph Leonard and Prune are out)
- take reservations (so 75% of all brunch places are out, it seems)
- be close to the subway (not *that* important but would like to minimize walking with heavy things)
Locanda Verde sprang to mind immediately - the only thing is I've been there and it's a bit far off to the west side (friends are flying out of LGA aftewards). If there are any places comparable, I'd love to know.
I think I'm now on the same boat with kathryn. I liked the brunch, but didn't love it. The food ranged from good to very good, but I found the pricing to be a bit uneven. My gf ordered the porchetta and I the malfatta - both were decently portioned and satisfying dishes. One of my friends, on the other hand, ordered the poached eggs at the same price as the porchetta and got two small eggs sitting on a desperately small bed of corn and cherry tomatoes. The fried artichoke at $14 also felt like somewhat of a robbery.
Service was adequate, and i think the overall experience was positive, but it wouldn't be a go-to brunch place for me (might have to go back to try the maialino dinner, though).
Thanks for the suggestions folks. I'm saving USC for another occasion so I made a reservation at Maialino. I've never been there (and would probably have to go there for dinner at some point for the namesake dish) but the brunch menu looks like it has enough variety to please everyone.
I thought about Balthazar as well but I've been to Pastis and was completely underwhelmed by their food, especially given the prices. It wasn't horrible, and maybe it's unfair to compare Balthazar to Pastis, but I'm reluctant to bring my friends to a place I *probably* won't like.
Will have a report after this weekend.
I would do Union Square Cafe. They take reservations. They also have a coat check, so your party could check the luggage. It's not cramped like some of the other popular brunch restaurants in the city, and it's more centrally located since it is in Union Square.
Call to reserve, they don't do parties that large on their OpenTable page.
Another option would be Maialino and they have a coat check as well. Plus, it's located in a hotel, so you could potentially leave the bags there as well.