Thanks to a pretty good deal on some flights (and after an interesting travel process) we managed to find ourselves in New York City for New Year’s this year. But rather than join the crowds for the prix fixe menus, we thought it would be more fun (and a little cheaper) to do brunch and dinner on the 30th and do a house party on the 31st. Well, that and we didn’t really plan anything and the availability was limited at best.
Ashley took charge of brunch while I was in charge of dinner. After a little asking a round, a bit of searching and a couple different reservation requests, confirmations and modifications, we found ourselves in Greenwich Village in the basement of Jane.
We were advised that brunch starts late in New York (dinner too), so it should be pretty quiet when we showed up for our 11:30 reservation. Apparently there were some people that didn’t get the memo as there was a line forming at the door, and the announced wait was more than half an hour. Once our party arrived we skipped the line, took our seats and ordered our coffee. The complimentary Bloody Mary’s couldn’t be served until after noon. It was a Sunday after all…
While waiting for the clock to strike noon, I started with the bread basket dropped off at the table…specifically the cranberry walnut bread. It was a little dense, a little sweet, and a great accompaniment to a cup of coffee, and provided just the right amount of hunger relief prior to breakfast, and finally a Bloody Mary, arriving simultaneously.
When I couldn’t find my favorite brunch item of some sort of hash, I took time to look through the menu and narrowed it down to a couple of seemingly good substitutes. One was the country breakfast with Southern staples of grits, biscuits and gravy. The other was one of the myriad of Benedicts; the Benedict Johnny. Feeling like I wanted something a little lighter, I went with the chicken sausage and tomato hollandaise of the Johnny.
It definitely wasn’t a typical Benny. Instead of the crisp crunch of the English muffin, it had a soft sweetness from a corn cake. Instead of the rich, almost heaviness of a hollandaise, it was lighter and sweeter. And instead of the usual saltiness of the Canadian bacon, there was a more herby flavor from the chicken sausage. It was a nice combination…nothing overwhelming, nothing really conflicting, maybe just a little too sweet, but a good breakfast.
After another Bloody Mary (slightly vinegary, not super tomatoey, but with a pickled green tomato that was interesting) we packed up and headed out. I didn’t feel weighted down and was ready to attack the day. I wasn’t completely wowed, but wasn’t let down. It was good down the middle, fun, and a great way to start the day.
Final Verdict – 3.75 Stars