Sunday, June 10, 2012

Day 837 : Brunching downtown

This weekend was a big whirlwind of catching up with old friends, lots of good times spent over shared food and drinks especially at brunch both yesterday and today. Brunch is a quintessential weekend meal -- leisurely, lovely, and laid back. Each brunch had a completely different feel but was distinct and delish in its own manner.

Yesterday a group of us dined at Peels, the Southern influenced restaurant owned by the team behind Freeman's. Known for their biscuits, go for a homemade buttermilk biscuit "built" to order -- scrambled eggs or avocado or cheese and bacon, you name it, you can add it to your flaky baked delicacy. Not in the mood for a homemade biscuit, they have a nice selection of salads, sandwiches, egg based dishes and quite the extensive selection of bloody mary's. I had their red quinoa salad with asparagus, kale, and a lemony dressing topped with crumbled blue cheese - light and flavorful with just the right rustic vegetal kick and a glass of Brut. This was definitely more lunch than brunch -- a lively and bustling environment with a menu that is guaranteed to please.

On the other hand, today was much more breakfast than lunch -- after a failed attempt of dining at Hotel Chantelle on the Lower East Side, we ended up at Schiller's, Keith McNally's Parisian influenced cafe on Norfolk and Rivington. A tried and true joint with excellent cocktails, a nice French bistro and English pub influenced menu, a chill vibe that transports you to the streets of the Marais. Definitely order their blood orange mimosa, it's the most excellent riff on the classic brunch drink. I had their eggs Norwegian -- poached, with smoked salmon and melted Gruyere instead of hollandaise -- a straight forward brunch dish executed well in a fun environment with the European soccer cup live, this was a perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon with a good friend.

Brunch to me is all about relaxing, catching up with friends and enjoying the weekend day -- each of these meals was just that.

325 Bowery

131 Rivington Street

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