A Secret Brunch Spot in Manhattan

I just discovered a new "secret" brunch spot and it's at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Did everyone just roll their eyes and laugh? The Met is most definitely NOT a New York secret. Everyone visits when they come to New York, to see the legendary art collection and the rooftop installation in the summer.

I've always loved the Petrie Court Cafe & Wine Bar - you are surrounded by the beautiful European Sculpture Court and they have a great afternoon tea. But recently, my cousin, a member of The Met, asked me to join her and her daughter for Sunday brunch at the Members Dining Room on the Fourth Floor. You have to be a member to make a reservation here, at any one of the 15 levels of membership. The three-course prix-fixe brunch menu was fantastic and looking out over the trees of Central Park is a perfect New York moment. It's another good reason to join The Met and I plan on taking visitors here.

It's also great for lunch and open for dinner on Fridays & Saturdays, though then you have a view of darkness as opposed to Central Park.

A View from The Met's rooftop

Brunch at Egg in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Egg always makes some "Best Brunch" list: see here, here, and here to start. After a late Friday night, we made the Saturday morning subway trip from our apartment to Williamsburg, Brooklyn to this aptly named, super cute spot that serves their eggs organic and local.  We took the "L" train to Bedford, walked over to Egg, waited 30 minutes (not bad for a place with notoriously long waits) and had a great brunch.  If I could eat 10 biscuits from Egg in a row and feel/look fantastic, I would have inhaled 10 of these biscuits. They're that good.

Brunch at The Little Owl

Look familiar? It's where Monica, Rachel, Chandler & Joey lived on Friends! And it's also where one of the best restaurants in New York, The Little Owl, is.  This tiny corner restaurant seats 34 people max, but if you go exactly at 10:30 a.m. when it opens on Saturday or Sunday, you won't wait for brunch. I've been for dinner, which is also great, but you can't beat the location for brunch on a gorgeous New York day.  Winter came for two days, and it is now spring again. 

The host is one of the nicest guys I've ever met at an NYC restaurant, the whole wheat pancakes were fluffy and divine (they are Alton Brown's favorite "cake" from Food Network's The Best Thing I Ever Ate), and the brussel sprouts were addicting. I just might go back next weekend.

How To Get a Dinner Reservation

Call at 10 a.m. exactly one month before the date you want to go-if you want to go on February 12, call on January 12 at 10 a.m.  OpenTable Reservations open 28 days before, so all the good slots will be taken by then. Better to call!

 

Brunch at the new Sarabeth's in TriBeCa

Opinions on where to go for Sunday brunch often reach heated levels, especially when picking a neighborhood. I love Five Points (my post here), for example, but I don’t LOVE walking around the surrounding neighborhood of NoHo. I LOVE walking in TriBeCa, and so when I heard Sarabeth’s was opening a branch here, I booked a reservation.  That’s key point #1: You can book a reservation on OpenTable here. Score!  
From the outside walking by, you might think the place is small and cozy.  Wrong. For New York standards, it’s huge.  The first thing you see is stacks of gorgeous Sarabeth’s cookbooks next to stacks of their jams and the croissant, muffin and cookie choices for the day.  
And the menu is great-egg dishes, of course, but also sandwiches and lobster rolls.  It’s hard to find that perfect New York brunch, where ambiance and buzz meet with reservations-accepted and freshly squeezed orange juice.  Sarabeth’s TriBeCa is it.  This is by far the best of their locations. 

Upper West Side: Cafe Luxembourg

Cafe Luxembourg Bar
I talk a lot about how much I love the Upper West Side.  Since H&H Bagels closed this summer, I love it a little bit less but I still love it.  I especially love it on cold or overcast days where you can walk for miles comfortably and go into Central Park.  Last Sunday, Andy and I headed up for brunch at a classic, Café Luxembourg and to walk in the park.  We ended up walking all the way home, down Fifth Avenue (dodging hundreds of Poles there for a Polish pride parade), into Eataly, and down through Union Square and Washington Square. 
It feels like you could be in Paris at Café Luxembourg and their brunch is great. Just refuse to sit at the lame table by the bar that faces the kitchen door.  I think it’s the worst table in New York.