Friday, February 10, 2012

Brunch with Bluegrass

Brunch is big In New York. This iconic mash-up of breakfast and lunch is, as New Yorkers claim, a NYC invention.

Did you ever ask yourself why people drink alcohol – mostly in the form of Mimosa and Bloody Mary – at brunch? I have always believed that this behavior was reserved for special occasions, just like it is in Quebec. But I recently learned that for New Yorkers it is traditionally a hangover cure!

As you may know, I am determined to become a real New Yorker; I therefore intend to make this very pleasant practice that is brunch part of my new life in the City. I gave it a first try last weekend.

Recommended to me by my English Teacher Jessica, the place that Martin and I chose for our initiation is a small and friendly restaurant called Nolita House – guess in what pretty, charming and graceful neighborhood it is situated. Nolita House offers what I would say is a perfect formula: a warm atmosphere paired with delicious American comfort food, great Bluegrass musicians and… frees drinks!

Upon entering the restaurant at 11:30, the place, decorated in the style of a primary school with green chalkboards and students pictures on the walls, was still very quiet. But 15 minutes later, the music started and the place began to fill with hungry and thirsty New Yorkers. I found myself completely subjugated by Bluegrass, this very joyful sub-genre of country music played by a live band of 5 . What a perfect way to start a Sunday…

Martin and I shared the eggs Benedict
this dish is also a NYC invention by the way prepared with an interesting twist by adding Dijon mustard to the sauce and the delectable, creamy and decadent mac and cheese, a signature dish of the restaurant.

And as a brunch here is not a genuine brunch without alcohol, I have to specify that a drink – a Bloody Mary or a strong Mimosa – is included with all entrees. If you want to take advantage of this, just be sure you don’t go too early on Sunday because serving alcohol is prohibited before noon in New York.

Did you know?
Originally, brunch was a Jewish alternative to going to church. Jewish families, which had nothing to do on Sunday mornings, would take a long, leisurely breakfast at home and would occasionally, go out for that meal.

What is your favorite restaurant for bunch?

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