Saturday Morning Fever

By Kate Krader Posted March 05, 2009

  • Breakfast has been very much in the news recently, from Starbucks new $3.95 egg sandwich-plus-coffee deal to the NY Times's round up of unexpected midtown breakfast runs, but the meal I'm most interested in right now is brunch. Me, I'm not a big brunch person. The idea of standing on lines (because at a decent place, there's always a line) next to people whose conversations I don't want to overhear ever, especially in the AM, so I can be served by a surly boy/girl who would rather be at the club he/she just left does not make up for pancakes, no matter how good. So I'm more surprised than anyone to hear all the buzz around brunch, especially at good restaurants, where it's always been the one meal to avoid. When I was in Portland, Oregon, everyone was talking about Beast. Not their wide-open kitchen, prix-fixe dinner, non-restaurant restaurant (website's words not mine) vibe. But their brunch, which is apparently the meal to go for, and awesome-sounding dishes like sugared-bacon crêpes and seasonal hashes. Over in San Francisco, there's similar excitement about brunch—in fact the excellent Jan Newberry is working on a story for the April issue of San Francisco magazine on brunch spots. She says Camino, known for its rustic fireplace cooking at night, has just started serving a wonderful version with French toast with creme fraîche and potatoes roasted in duck fat. Here in New York, I'm hearing all good things about brunch at Boqueria, which is SRO on most nights but on weekend mornings features omelets made with eggs from chef Seamus Mullen's dad's farm, and breakfast bacon-egg-and-cheese sandwiches. But I'm especially fascinated by the Bagatelle Saturday brunch parties in the Meatpacking District. UrbanDaddy called it Saturday Afternoon Fever and that name is so appropriate— packed-out, white-tablecloth dining room, with bottle service and table-dancing (after 2—in the afternoon). The only thing I haven't heard a word about is the food.

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