Seven Boozy Brunch Bashes in New York

“The brunchies” typically refers to that craving one gets around 1:00 pm for stomach-coating cuisine of the vehicle-for-grease variety. In short, a hangover meal. But what do you call it when it’s 1:00 pm, the bottles are just being popped, and the party is just getting started? A good time.

We’re talking daylife now. Cue the DJ beats, crank up the smoke machine, and start working that three-cheese scramble, it’s time for the daytime boozy brunch bash — designed for the person who likes to sleep, in the city that never does. For your daylife debauching needs, we’ve compiled a list of the 7 boozy brunch bashes in New York that you just can’t miss — unless, of course, you forget to set the alarm. 

Isa Gets New Chefs and Brunch

When Taavo Somer opened his Brooklyn restaurant Isa during the fall of 2011, gourmands flocked to get a taste of chef Ignacio Mattos’s eclectic menu. Eric Asimov of The New York Times described it as having a “complementary primitive aesthetic,” and he wasn’t alone in being charmed by the Williamsburg haunt. Yet, despite the reviews, Isa shut down this June after Mattos and other chefs left.

Now the popular shop is up and running again, but, while the owner, space, and name of the restaurant remain the same, the menu, brunch, and chef are different. Actually, there are two new chefs:Preston and Ginger Madson,a husband and wife team from Peels and Freemans. Their latest menu reflects Somer’s desire to have more of a rustic and hearty type of restaurant with a Mediterranean spin.

“Isa was always meant to be a cozy, neighborhood dining destination,” said Preston. “With the new menu, I’m trying to have something for everyone so no one feels excluded, and people that live in the neighborhood can come in and have a good meal a couple times a week.”

This means the new menu is more versatile than the original dishes, which involved items like deep-fried sardine bones and meals based on color. For brunch, the Madsons are sticking with the comfy and cozy vibe and have added Mediterranean-style plates of oven-baked eggs on polenta with pesto and tomato sauce, caramelized grapefruit, and sourdough pancakes with whipped ricotta. Don’t skip the drinks either: their beverage menu features dill-infused gin, bay leaf-infused vodka, watermelon juice, Sun Chai tea, and a cocktail called the Dayboat Swizzle, which involves absinthe, almond, and lime. Yum. But don’t take my word for it; starting tomorrow you can taste the goods yourself. 

Hipster Brunch Grows Up: Q&A With George Weld, Owner of Egg

This year has been a busy time for proprietor George Weld, who has run the superbly good (but insanely packed) Egg in Williamsburg for over five years. Now, just a few blocks away, he has what he refers to as his “grown up” restaurant Parish Hall. Aside from churning out successful eateries, Weld is known for focusing on seasonal and local ingredients and some, in fact, come from his six-acre Goatfell Farm upstate. Despite the following Egg has for brunch—lines at peak times on the weekend can take over an hour—don’t call Weld the “brunch king,” even if he deserves it.

I noticed on Facebook that you aren’t fond of the new title you’ve been crowned with.
It’s fine. I knew it was coming and I was trying to get a heads up on people trying to make fun of me.

You have to admit, you do brunch well. How did you get started?
Egg started as a breakfast only restaurant. Some friends of mine had a hot dog stand and they weren’t using it in the mornings. They asked if I was interested in opening a breakfast place and I had wanted to open a restaurant. Plus I love breakfast so it seemed like a good arrangement. I didn’t expect, I didn’t even think there would enough people up in the morning in Williamsburg to make it work. It was a bit of an experiment. We had to close at noon before the hot dog place opened. And we were there for like two years before we took over the whole place.

What is it about brunch?
I feel like brunch, of all meals, is the one you want to ease people into, and it’s a nice role to play in people’s lives. I love it. We have a broad range of customers from those bringing their parents in, those hungover, those who haven’t gone to bed yet—it’s a fun way to see different people.

What inspired you to open your new joint Parish Hall?
Parish hall has been in the works for two years. There are a lot o f reasons behind us doing that. One of them was we wanted to have a place for our cooks and servers to grow into. Give them another place to express their creativity. Also, it seemed like the kind of place the neighborhood was ready for, like it had grown up a bit. A lot of my friends don’t come to Egg anymore because it’s too crowded and rambunctious. It’s nice to have a place that’s a little more relaxing.

How much does your farm play into the restaurants and what you serve?
It varies from month to month. Last year we had a full time manager, but this year we are so busy with Parish Hall it’s a little less ambitious. We are focused on getting a structure in place so it will be more productive next year. But, we already get great produce and eggs from great farms that do it exclusively, and I want to keep doing it with them. It was never really my goal to provide everything, but more to give people who work here a chance to grow food and to maybe get some varieties of produce others don’t have.

You also opened up Hash Bar at Smorgasburg this year. What sparked that idea?
We joked about doing it for a long time. We had one spastic cook for a while who loved working the flattop and had too much energy to really work around. So we joked about setting him up with his own place and flattop to make hash. Last year we committed to serving hamburgers and stuff to concertgoers [on the Williamsburg waterfront during shows]. Smorgasburg started at the same time and we kept looking at it and wanted to be there and around people excited about food. So, this year, we decided to try out the Hash Bar idea. It’s the dream audience for food, people are willing to try anything and are excited about it.

Where do you like to eat brunch?
I haven’t been out to brunch in a long time, thought I have had great brunches at Prune. But, aside from Egg and Parish Hall, I don’t go to brunch save for a place I go to upstate called Jake Moon, about a half an hour outside of Albany.

Any other restaurant ideas going on in your head?
We will see how Parish Hall and Hash Bar goes. Besides, it’s fun to see them find their way.

Brunch: Three New Ways to Get Sloshed Sunday Morning

Everyone loves brunch, but no matter the food spread there are always ways to make it better. For one, how about brunch and movie?

Join the Breakfast Club at Nitehawk Cinema in Williamsburg, Brooklyn! The team behind the hipster movie house is dishing out a $14 prix fixe brunch on Saturdays and Sundays that features a Bloody Mary or mimosa and your choice of entrees like breakfast tacos or chicken with waffles. The best part, for those of you too hungover to deal with conversation, you can just sit back and watch a movie. Upcoming films include the documentary All Ages: Boston Hardcore on June 30 and July 1, and Forbidden Planet on July 14 and 15, and Woody Allen’s Love and Death on August 4 and 5. But if you can’t wait, hit up Nitehawk this weekend for Raiders of the Lost Ark at noon.

Didn’t get enough party in Saturday night? Well you’re in luck, after a three-month hiatus, Bagatelle’s South of France-themed Le Brunch extravaganza is back as of this weekend. What does this entail, you might ask? Well, first on the menu is booze. Then some bubbles, then more booze, some bites of food, and finally, booze. Just remember, Bagatelle isn’t responsible for “broken heels, loss of memory, loss of girlfriend or boyfriend, shirts or any other belongings.” That’s right, they have a disclaimer.

Finally, for the more respectable bruncher who wishes to talk to their companion and perhaps not drink a bucket of champagne, Midtown’s Molyvos launches their Greek brunch this weekend. Chef Jim Botsacos said the menu offers familiar brunch dishes but with twists reminiscent from his family and travels in Greece. For example, Botsacos serves Greek Toast with orange scented Easter bread and the Avga Me Feta Kai Domata, or basically, baked eggs with tomato and feta. “We’re looking to put an exciting new spin on what New Yorkers are used to for brunch,” says the chef. And with all these new options, brunch got three times more exhilarating. 

Hello, Weekend! Friday Brunches Begin at Kingswood

Summer Fridays. Ahhhh. We get out of work earlier, we take more Fridays off, and we drink and dine outside until we’re kicked off the curb. In preparation for the season, and in celebration of spring, Kingswood has introduced the monster of all brunches: the THREE-DAY BRUNCH. 

Kingswood – a beloved little ivy-covered nook in the West Village – understands our want for leisurely dining in warm weather, hours/days off from work, and homemade banana bread. Starting March 23rd, this American-Australian earthy spot is opening its doors every Friday, extending their lauded brunch to three days and welcoming brunchers looking to start the weekend early – and right!
And by “right,” we do mean “with a Canadian lobster roll” brunch special; or perhaps "the pork fritter sandwich with watercress;” or maybe even our favorite: the fried egg sandwich alongside a basket of nutella and vanilla-sugared mini-doughnuts.
Does this sound like something that interests you? Yeah? Then head to Kingswood on Fridays from 11am-4pm, and start that weekend!

The Best Brunch in the Hamptons

imageTo paraphrase (okay misappropriate) food critic and author Raymond Sokolov, the Hamptons’ East End is a narrow island off the coast of Manhattan devoted to the pursuit of brunch. In New York, the ladies, they lunch; when in the Hamptons, they brunch. Nosh with the best of them at the following BlackBook-approved locales. And check out our full Hamptons listings in restaurants, nightlife, and hotels.

Having inherited the morning-nosh mantle from the diner that occupied this Sag space before it, perennial brunch pick New Paradise Café (despite Durkin and Co.’s protestations that it is no longer a breakfast joint) serves a mean Bloody Mary to wash down the house specialty L.E.O.

Maybe the fact that Silver’s on Main Street in Southampton serves only breakfast and lunch is why they’re kings of that particular portmanteau.

The granddaddy of the elegant white table cloth brunch, the American Hotel’s restaurant is a dandy spot to while away an afternoon.

Greasy spoon Candy Kitchen has been sating hangovers since potato farms outnumbered McMansions in Bridgehampton.

They say that nobody does brunch as well as lesbians. Babbette’s in East Hampton is proof positive, and also one place where healthy and Bloody Mary belong in the same sentence.

The local fave Estia’s Little Kitchen dishes omelets, pancakes, and Tex-Mex platters in unassuming fashion on the road between Bridgehampton and Sag Harbor every day of the week except Tuesday.

If lecherous French lotharios work up your appetite for eggs and strong cocktails, head for Pierre’s in Bridgehampton with all due haste where you will find all the aforementioned.

The pinkish neon glow and diner fare of Southampton’s Sip ’n Soda may appeal to those with rose colored glasses, but the yelping kids in line for ice cream won’t do much for their headaches.

A daily morning extravaganza complete with a full bar can be had at Solé East’s Backyard for the minor inconvenience of a drive out to Montauk.