There are few better places in the world “to brunch” than in Manhattan; of this, I am certain. In the second edition of the Restaurant Round-up, we are breaking down the best of the best brunch offerings in our neighborhood, Chelsea. Let’s start with The Standard Grill, where we met up with our friends Parrish and Jonathan.
BEST WAFFLE: The Standard Grill
Hands down, Michael said this was the best Belgian waffle he’s had in the city, thus far. (And trust me, when you have a 10-month old who loves a good waffle, we order it. A lot. Even if we are in the mood for something else.) The generous sprinkle of powdered sugar and warm syrup made this waffle extra delicious. Even at $12, don’t expect anything other than what you see in the photo. No fruit, no bacon nor potatoes come with it, but Michael said you don’t even want it. “The waffle stands on its own!” Okay, then.
Oh, and if you’re wondering about those cute kissing dog figurines? Those are salt and pepper shakers. And if you want to “walk their dogs” it’ll cost $20 to take those puppies home!
Everyone knows brunch is not complete without cocktails! That’s really what makes brunch brunch, don’t you agree? Michael and I have differing opinions on this one, in part, because our cocktail selections are at opposite ends of the lazy day libation spectrum. He almost always goes with a bloody mary, while I usually go with a champagne cocktail of sorts. Since we cannot agree on the single best brunch cocktail, we’re awarding two this week…
BEST BLOODY MARY: Tipsy Parsons
Served in a mason jar, Michael says this bloody mary tops the rest because they nailed the heat factor. It was spicy, without being too spicy. (Sorry, no photo.) And the vodka to tomato juice ratio was perfect, even keeping its flavor as the ice melted.
BEST CHAMPAGNE COCKTAIL: Pastis
At Pastis, which is technically in the Meatpacking District (close enough!), brunch is as much about good food and drink as it is about the scene. We’d read that Pastis is one of the best spots to catch a glimpse of a celebrity or two. On this particular Sunday, we didn’t see any A-listers, but we did recognize a few actors. Brunch was delicious and each entree came with a beautiful serving of fresh fruit. My favorite item was “Le Vie en Rose” which is a classic pink champagne cocktail (sugar cube + bitters) plus some rose water.
BEST BAGEL: Murray’s Bagels
In lieu of a boozy brunch, a classic New York bagel can be a great alternative, especially when Murray’s Bagels is in the neighborhood. The place is packed. Always. They have great breakfast sandwiches; however, they do not toast their bagels. At first, I was disappointed, but once I had my warm, freshly made bagel, I think I preferred it that way.
We have also discovered some pretty incredible restaurants beyond our neighborhood, it seems gem after gem can be found tucked away in the West Village. Same for SOHO.