I still recall being completely confused by the New York concept of brunch when I first arrived in the Big Apple. Elsewhere in the world, brunch refers to a meal had between the hours of breakfast and lunch, with brunch partakers usually good and stuffed by 11:30AM. In New York, brunch is a meal best enjoyed after a long night of debauchery. Brunch-goers typically roll into establishments hung-over and looking to sop up the remnants of last night's dirty martinis with a serving of Eggs Benedict and perhaps get some hair of the dog with a freshly made Bloody Mary. New York brunch starts around 11AM and typically ends at roughly 4PM. It can either be the cure or the precursor to further debauchery. I for one, love it!
I had a great brunch awhile back at Locanda Verde in Tribeca with Zoe, Amanda and Brandy. It has been said that Locanda Verde may have the best brunch in the city, but that's a tough call that I'm more than willing to investigate. It was tough pulling myself out of bed on a freezing cold Winter day to go for brunch but once I had a bite of burnt orange toast smothered with sheep's milk ricotta drizzled with truffle honey ($12), it was all worth it.
I loved, loved, loved my lemon ricotta pancakes topped with tart meyer lemon curd and fresh blueberries. I feared it would be ricotta overkill but it turns out the concept doesn't exist.
I normally order something with eggs for brunch but this time I decided to forego it. There were some very yummy egg dishes on the table, however. Amanda had a fluffy zucchini frittata with roasted tomato, goat cheese and basil ($15).
Brandy had the soft scrambled farm egg crostino with leeks, mushrooms and speck ($16).
Zoe had the scrumptious Uovo Modenese ($17) with cotechino hash, spinach and tomato hollandaise. Cotechino is a type of pork sausage from Italy. This plate looks like the epitome of the perfect post-party Winter morning meal.
I'm not fit to say if Locanda Verde does in fact serve the best brunch in the city, but it was pretty damn good, and I am willing to sacrifice and try as many brunch spots as possible in an effort to find out! For now though, it is a freezing cold Saturday morning in New York and my appetite has been whetted so I'm off to forage for food. Enjoy your weekend everyone!
Locanda Verde is located at 377 Greenwich Street, New York, NY 10013. Tel. (212) 925-3797