THE BEST BRUNCH IN MIDTOWN AND UPTOWN NYC
Lauded, reviled, and pilloried, brunch is simply breakfast plus lunch, and it’s hard to argue with that. Also see: Grub's previous list all about downtown brunch. http://grb.st/1MWvfVC
- •DB Bistro ModerneFor: When you can't make up your mind. The food is almost always worth the wait at Daniel Boulud’s handsome, contemporary bistro. The menu is made up of classic dishes with New American accents, like a sundried-tomato omelette and French toast on housemade brioche with almonds, marmalade, and fromage blanc. Coming here is one of the classiest ways to enjoy a lazy, fortifying meal over the weekend.
- •Má PêcheFor: When you don't want to make up your mind all at once. Last year, David Chang’s midtown fine-dining spot was reinvented as a kind of postmodern dim-sum parlor, where passed plates mean a rotating selection of dishes like cheese dips and whatever else is on the chef’s mind. Brunch is Momofuku classics and Americana breakfast food with some Asian influences, like an egg bun with maple bacon, and breakfast noodles with chorizo and queso fresco.
- •MareaFor: A glitzy seafood fest. At this glittering, fine-dining establishment on Central Park South, the dining room is decorated, fittingly, with twirling seashells hand-dipped in silver. Ingredients are similarly luxe, and the restaurant’s seafood focus is not lost during brunch, when you’ll find crudi and entrées like butter-poached halibut to go with plenty of rib-sticking renditions of chef Michael White’s famous pastas.
- •Barney GreengrassFor: The classic spot for New York's original brunch. For a bagel feast of the first order, this Formica-clad uptown haunt has scarce competition. The deli styles itself as the Sturgeon King, but it's not all smoked and pickled fish — there are 23 omelettes and egg dishes and eight kinds of egg sandwiches, too.
- •The CecilFor: When you want a modern Harlem meal. Styling itself as an “African-Asian-American brasserie, this warm-toned, handsome restaurant pairs eclectic, global cooking with a Harlem state of mind. During brunch, chef JJ Johnson takes a notably heartier approach to his cooking, pairing brisket with fried rice, serving fusion mash-ups like roti pizza and unconventional “dim sum”-like sake-braised lamb ribs.
- •The East PoleFor: When you live uptown, but want a downtown vibe. Bucking the sheltered, trend-averse style of the Upper East Side, the East Pole brings a more contemporary style to the neighborhood with its bare-bones aesthetic and a map on the menu’s back for locating purveyors. One of the owners is from downtown’s popular the Fat Radish, the other two from Brinkley's, and they’ve brought that populist locavore style uptown with them.
- •Ginny's Supper ClubFor: A celebrity chef's take on the gospel brunch. In the great tradition of the neighborhood, the basement lounge at Marcus Samuelsson’s ode to down-home southern cooking offers a gospel brunch on Sundays. The ticketed event features a spread of fried yard bird and breakfast pastries set to the tune of Vy Higginsen#&8217;s Gospel for Teens Choir.
- •Jacob's PicklesFor: Those times when what you need is new-school comfort food and lots of pickles. The wood-hewn spot specializing in all things brined goes all in during brunch, bringing its menu of pickle-garnished comfort food to hungry, late-rising Upper West Siders. The trendy menu is divided into gut-busting categories like biscuit breakfast sandwiches, coop and bakery, and home cooking, but you’ll want to make sure you get a couple pints from their impressive selection of craft beers.
- •The MarkFor: The best people-watching in the neighborhood. Sure, Jean-Georges Vongerichten's UES spot caters to the settled tastes of the locals — the famous chef debuted his first burger here — but if you want to see, and be seen, by the Upper East Side throngs, this cheerful, opulent hotel-restaurant is the place to go.
- •RedFarmFor: Those times when nothing but dumplings will do. Ed Schoenfeld has played a part in nearly every Chinese dining trend to hit New York, and at this restaurant, fashionably designed to look like a barnyard, he's working with chef Joe Ng to reinvigorate the tired tropes of American-Chinese food. The key is to turn your attention to the dim sum — Ng's specialty and the Chinese answer to brunch — along with the small plates like crispy beef.