By Sara Morgan-Beckett – New Yorkers love to brunch. Not just a mid- to late-morning affair, weekend brunching often stretches until three or four in the afternoon. Keeping your eye on the prize is key to enduring a lengthy wait at popular eateries. That prize may very well be baked eggs and coffee but more often than not it’s the bottomless Mimosas and Bloody Marys. What better way to nurse a hangover? As a side note, the spice in a Bloody Mary here is horseradish; if you’re uninitiated, let me reassure you it’s worth trying. Brunch is the perfect excuse for a leisurely catch up with friends which makes a welcome change from the usual breakneck speed of life in New York.
Back in 1939, The New York Times declared Sundays a two-meal day and by the 90s that ideology had spread to Saturdays too. Indeed brunch has become such an event in New York that Leap Day marks the battle of the brunches. The fight for the coveted title takes place at 451-459 W 14th Street on February 29th kicking off at, paradoxically, 18:30. I spoke to Breakfast for Dinner organizer Lauren B Danziger who told me her thoughts on why New Yorkers are so obsessed with brunch.
How does this sound? “Brioche Pain Perdu with Smoked Maple Syrup and Bourbon Butter, Lemongrass Yogurt with Spiced Granola and Citrus Honey, Peanut Butter & Jelly Yogurt Shake.” Sedap tak??!
“New Yorkers are driven individuals, always running around, always busy,” she said. “Breakfast is that meal that fuels you up for the day and we also love our nightlife and nights out on the town. So this event combines those elements. Also, the creativity that can be expressed with breakfast food is compelling. Brioche Pain Perdu with Smoked Maple Syrup and Bourbon Butter, Lemongrass Yogurt with Spiced Granola and Citrus Honey, Peanut Butter & Jelly Yogurt Shake” – just reading about the dishes that will be served at Breakfast for Dinner makes my mouth water.
Image courtesy of Bodega Negra
The Meatpacking District has become such a mecca for foodies that two spots in the 2015 NY Times top ten restaurants were taken by this neighbourhood.
“I love that it’s ever evolving and that there is quality and diversity to the businesses that locate here. It has top restaurants, corporate headquarters and fashion-forward thinkers and has become a thriving community”
“That says something about all the creativity around food that’s taking place in the kitchens here,” Lauren added. “I also really enjoy the atmosphere of the neighbourhood. It’s incredible in that its so many things at once, and has such a storied history. I love that it’s ever evolving and that there is quality and diversity to the businesses that locate here. It has top restaurants, corporate headquarters and fashion-forward thinkers and has become a thriving community.”
Image courtesy of Chelsea Creamline
The vibrancy of this neighbourhood has always made it a favourite of mine. From the High Line and the Brownstones to the shopping and eating, no trip to NYC is complete without taking in this must-experience destination.
“We have 17 great restaurants from the district competing for the love and praise of the attendees and the honour of winning the People’s Choice Award,”
“We have 17 great restaurants from the district competing for the love and praise of the attendees and the honour of winning the People’s Choice Award,” says Lauren. “It’s all done with a friendly sense of camaraderie, but if I know the chefs, they will do their utmost to impress everyone with their dishes.”
“Our brunch service is something we’ve prodded at and tweaked over the past few years,” Stephen Collucci from chic American restaurant Colicchio & Sons told me. They’ll be bringing some of their signature dishes to the event. “I think it’s in a really terrific place, and one of the better brunches around. We continue to try to outdo ourselves from brunch cocktails, egg dishes and sweet bites. Brunch adds just one more layer to the social hub that is New York. It’s great food and just a lot of fun. ”
Image courtesy of Doughnuttery.
Four other notable restaurants taking part are Bodega Negra (Mexican street food with a clubby vibe, Dream Downtown Hotel), Chelsea Creamline (farm to table American fare, Chelsea Markets), Doughnuttery (artisanal mini doughnuts, Chelsea Markets) and Soho House (Italian restaurant, members only). It’s vast and varied, and tickets start at $55.
Even if you can’t make Breakfast for Dinner, the restaurants involved are all worth checking out. Sinking your teeth into brunch NYC-style is the ultimate in the breakfast of champions.
Want to get your own brunch fix in New York? Start planning your trip by checking out our New York hotel deals.