Today I'm starting a new series on this blog. One of the things that I partake in pretty religiously is brunch. This is just one of the ways that my friends and I get to hang out with each other and catch up on our lives. I mean, who wouldn't bond over booze and food? Since I spend a significant chunk of time doing this, I thought that my readers may also be interested in the brunch options in and around the New York City area. Personally, I'm always looking for cool and new places to have brunch on the weekends. So here's my first installment in the series...
Last week, my friend Sandra informed me of a new brunch in New York City's Tribeca called Mister Benedicts Pop-Up Brunch, which is hosted at Chalk Point Kitchen. I must confess that I don't actually like eggs benedict; however once I looked up the menu, I was intrigued by the other brunch options, so I agreed to go.
The entrance to Chalk Point Kitchen is straight through an arched stone doorway, complete with a wooden door and forged iron detailing. Once inside, we were seated in a small dining area (the entire place seats about 75 people) with brick walls, wooden tables, and a rustic decor. I loved how the place settings had a very summery feel, with plates decorated with delicate patterns and a checked cloth napkin.
Of course I began my experience by taking a look at the drink menu, while sipping on their cucumber-flavored water. Before I get much further into this review, I should mention is that Chalk Point Kitchen is a "market-to-table" restaurant. This means that they source the majority, if not all, of their ingredients from local places in and around New York City. You can really see how they have incorporated fresh and local ingredients into most of the cocktails. Although these drinks were super creative and quite tempting, I chose to go the "glass of red wine" route because some days that's just how it's got to be.
Next up: Food! Our server, Vivienne, was quite helpful in explaining the selection to us. There are a variety of snacks/appetizers, as well as salads, sandwiches, and of course, a selection of eggs benedict dishes. There are six different options for the eggs benedict dishes. You can have your eggs benedict with ham, steak, crab, lobster, avocado, or even kimchi!
We placed our orders and only had to wait a few minutes before the appetizer of Upstate Farm Spring Peas & Lioni's Old-Fashioned Ricotta on toast came out of the kitchen. The ricotta and peas were super fresh and piled high on lightly toasted chunks of bread before being finished with a drizzle of olive oil.
Not too long after the appetizer was consumed, we were presented with our main plates. I had chosen the special of the day, which was a non-eggs benedict dish consisting of a Mexican chorizo hash topped with two eggs. Sandra had opted for the Maine peekytoe crab eggs benedict.
We devoured everything. The entire meal was so flavorful and delicious that if I wasn't craving dessert, I would have placed a second order for that bacon. I would not have been ashamed.
As has been our modus operandi lately, Sandra and I asked for dessert menus because only amateurs go to brunch without getting dessert. It turns out that Chalk Point doesn't have a written brunch dessert menu, but they do offer desserts if you ask for them. Vivienne was able to discuss the available options with us and Sandra and I both chose the affogato. If you're not familiar with affogato, it can be described as ice cream topped with hot espresso. At Chalk Point, the affogato provided a much-needed espresso- and chocolate-filled end to the meal.
One more drink, maybe?
Fine. Sandra and I each had the kale martini. I was quite hesitant about this, as I usually dislike martinis. In fact, my latest run-in with a martini I didn't like was a mere few weeks ago. Still, I decided to take the plunge here, and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this drink. The kale martini is a blend of two types of vodka, cucumbers, celery, lemon juice, lime juice, ginger beer, and of course, freshly-pressed kale. I want to describe it as " a salad in a glass", even though I realize that may not sound like the tastiest thing to some people. At any rate, I do highly recommend this drink, as I found it pretty refreshing. I have not finished many martinis in my (recent) days, but I had no trouble finishing this!
OK, now here's the low-down on this brunch --
The pros: Wide variety of menu options created with fresh local food, numerous unique cocktail options, friendly and knowledgeable staff, cute decor
The cons: no printed dessert menu, pricey (for NYC brunch)
I would recommend trying out the Mister Benedicts Pop-Up brunch at Chalk Point Kitchen. They have something for everyone, so even if you don't like eggs benedict (like myself), there are a ton of different options that are just as good. They have a small, but attentive staff on site and everyone was really welcoming and helpful in answering any questions we had. I would have liked if they had a printed dessert menu, as it's easier for me to choose an option when I can see them all in front of me. The server can tell you what's on the dessert menu but I'm more of a visual person. The price of this brunch was more than I typically pay for brunches elsewhere around New York City. Since the service and the food were excellent, I was fine with the price tag that goes along with that, but this is just something to be aware of.
Have you been to the Mister Benedicts pop-up brunch at Chalk Point Kitchen yet? Are you planning on going?
Disclaimer: We paid for our own meal. This was not a paid review.