Oct 10 2008
You asked for it. You got it. Here’s your guide to Boozy Brunches in NYC. We list for you as many of the All-You-Can-Drink (AYCD), Bottomless, Unlimited Boozy Brunch Spots as we could find or that we’ve heard about. We’ll be continuously updating this list as comments come in with new ones. We also list the restaurants doing 2+ complimentary brunch cocktails and the 1-complimentary brunch cocktail spots. We obviously don’t know about all the boozy brunches out there, so any comments about any ones we’re missing are much appreciated.
It was a long time comin’ but we’ve finally got around to updating our legendary all-you-can-drink boozy brunch list. Sweetiepie is temporarily closed and Blockhead’s stopped offering their $10 unlimited champagne brunch, but we’ve got several new ones to tell you about.
All-You-Can-Drink (AYCD) Brunch Spots
Recent Additions as of 2/23/11:
Meade’s Bar — Add $12 for all you can drink Bloody’s, Cape Cods, Mimosas and Screwdrivers at this spot near South Street Seaport (1.5 hr limit for tables and then you can continue getting your brunch drink on at the bar)
Taproom 307 — Another all-you-can-drink craft beer brunch at this new beer bar in Gramercy – get One Entrée and One Hour of Select Drafts, Beer Sangria, Mimosas, and Bloody Marys for just $20
Vela Tapas – $20 for open bar brunch on weekends 10-4 at this Bay Ridge tapas spot. Includes Mimosas, Bellinis and Bloody Marys. 10am-4pm Saturdays and Sundays.
Agozar — How in the world did we miss this one before! They offer you unlimited sangria with any brunch item ($12-$16) for 2 hours at this lively Cuban bistro right off the Bowery!
DiWine — $19 gets you the unlimited prix-fixe (mimosas, bellinis, bloodys) at this wine bar and restaurant in Astoria.
Caliu — $25 Includes One Brunch Item and your choice of Unlimited Sangria, Mimosa or Bloody Marys at this West Village tapas joint.
Scarpina Bar & Grill — Sunday Brunch Prifix Menu $19.95Unlimited Sangria, Mimosa & Bloody Mary
De Santos – $30 for any brunch item + unlimited brunch cocktails (2 types of bellini, bloody mary, mimosa and screwdriver) at this West Village spot that features a nice patio in the back.
Hop Devil Grill – We love our craft beer and we love our boozy brunches, so this is a marriage made in heaven. This E Village beer bar recently launched what it’s calling a “BEER-unch!”. Every Saturday and Sunday $20 gets you unlimited craft beers (24 different taps) plus an entree. And if someone in your party would prefer more traditional brunch cocktails like mimosas, bloody marys and sangria, well they can have those, too, unlimited. Choose from craft beers like Lagunitas Lil’ Sumpin Sumpin, Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA and Troegs Nugget Nectar with no limitation on the number or type of beer.
Hudson River Cafe — It may be way uptown in Harlem but they offer an unbeatable $21 prix-fixe that includes unlimited bellini and mimosas for 1.5 hours + entree.
MexiQ – This new beer-focused bbq-mex restaurant in Astoria has a damn good boozy, all-you-can-drink brunch deal — add $7 to any brunch entree for unlimited bloody marys, margaritas, Mexican beer or mimosas!
Supercore — This under the radar Japanese spot in South Brooklyn has an all-you-can-drink brunch, so we hear, like unlimited sake mimosas for $20!
Ethos – We don’t have all the details, but we hear that the Murray Hill location has launched an unlimited boozy mimosa brunch.
Tosca – $25 for unlimited buffet brunch w/ champagne, mimosa, bellini and bloodys at this Bronx spot.
Slice, The Perfect Food – Who woulda thought breakfast flatbreads and endless mimosas would be such a good match! $25 for choice of breakfast flatbread w/ organic eggs and bottomless mimosas at this West Village pizzeria.
Barbounia – Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Patrons will be able to enjoy an unlimited flow of champagne cocktails for $12 to accompany any one of their dishes. Unlimited cocktail options include mimosa, belini, kir or parasol.
Sweetiepie (CLOSED TEMPORARILY) — $20 Bottomless Cocktail Brunch = one entree plus unlimited sangria, mimosa, bloody mary or dirty lemonade.
Macondo — Add $7 for unlimited mimosas with your brunch.
Ornella`s Trattoria Italiana — $13 brunch comes with unlimited mimosa and bellini.
The People’s Republic of Brooklyn – Thanks to Reader Matt for sending this one to us. $15 for the unlimited drinks and then between $8 and $12 or so for most meals. The drinks include mimosas and bloody mary’s.
San Marzano — Add $8 to any of their pizzas ($11-16) for unlimited mimosas. They also have 2 egg pizzas for brunch. Also, their beer is $3 and they have a nice selection especially for that price pount.
Ceol Pub — $20 brunch prix-fixe comes with unlimited bloody marys and mimosas.
Libation — For $19, you get a brunch item + unlimited mimosas or bloody mary’s…or you can have 3 well drinks instead.
Diablo Royale (both locations) — They have a new $22 all-you-can-drink brunch special. You get a brunch item and AYCD bloodys or mimosas.
Open Door Gastropub — The $25 Upside Down Brunch gets you a brunch item + unlimited brunch cocktails. 8 to choose from including mimosa, man-mosa (Blue Moon, Absolute Mandarin + OJ), greyhound, screwdriver, bloody mary and more.
Bistro de la Gare — Buy a brunch item and enjoy all-u-can-drink bellini for just $6.26!
Agua Dulce — For an additional $20/person (brunch items from $9; menu here) get 2 hours of unlimited, potent, tropical brunch cocktails, including 3 varieties of frozen margaritas (pomegranate, regular and passion fruit), 2 varieties of frozen martinis (apple and watermelon) and 2 varieties of frozen mojitos (traditional and passion fruit).
The Hill — $20 brunch specials including all-you-can-drink bloody marys and mimosas. Sat & Sun.
Aspen Social Club – $20 for choice of brunch entree (5 options) and unlimited bloody marys and mimosas. 11am-5pm Sat-Sun.
East Village Tavern — One of our favorite beer bars in the city is offering a $15 all-you-can-drink brunch special. Your choice of a brunch entree + unlimited brunch cocktails (bloody marys, mimosas, 007′s, or the Dude) or Yuengling or Bud Light drafts for 1 hour. After the first hour, all additional drinks are $4. Sat-Sun from 11am-5pm.
Gusto Ristorante — Special brunch prix-fixe menu featuring unlimited mimosas, bellinis and bloody marys, plus coffee & tea, ricotta cinnamon frittelle w/ pine nuts and raisins for the table and your choice of a brunch entree all for just $22 per person.
Kittichai – $20 prix fixe featuring standard brunch items that includes unlimited Kittichai brunch cocktails. Weekends from 11am-2:45pm. Includes passion fruit bellinis, bloody mary’s and blood orange mimosas. Also over the weekends the restaurant also offers a frequently changing three-course lunch prix fixe available for $20 per person or $32 with wine pairings.
Blind Pig — $19.99 All You Can Drink Brunch. Sat & Sun 11am til 4pm.
Tonda – Offering an all-you-can-drink brunch special where $20 gets you bottomless mimosas & your choice of a brunch entree (3 different breakfast pizzas, baked egg dishes, salads & paninis).
57 Napoli Pizza e Vino (upstairs at 120 E 57th St) — Offering a bottomless all-day brunch (10 am til midnight on Sat and til 11pm on Sun). Bottomless mimosas are free with brunch items all day (every weekend). Pizzas are $14-$15 and most other brunch items are $12.
Manolito – Unlimited Sangria or Mimosas with an entree for $18.
Zucchero e Pomodori – Add $15 to your brunch entree for unlimited champagne, mimosa, bloody marys, screwdrivers, or mango/peach bellinis.
Ta Cocina — For $5, you get unlimited mimosas, sangria, margaritas, screwdriver, or Bloody Mary’s for 1 hour!
Las Chicas Locas – Any brunch item comes with all you can drink mimosas, Bloody Marys, red or white sangria & cactus punch ($18).
Vamos! – Add $6 to any entree for all you can drink frozen margaritas during brunch.Saturday and Sunday from 11 AM to 4 PM.
Rice – All three locations (292 Elizabeth St; 81 Washington St. in Dumbo; 166 Dekalb Ave in Fort Greene) offer a $20 bottomless brunch deal that includes a breakfast entrée, a side, coffee or tea, and unlimited refills on mimosas. It runs from noon to 4pm on weekends.
Southern Hospitality – Endless mimosas and bloody mary’s for $11.95 with purchase of brunch entree. Every Saturday & Sunday during Brunch 11:30pm-3pm.
Piquant — Prix-fixe brunch ($14&. Add $6 more for unlimited Bloody Mary & Mimosa, Sangria
Il Bastardo – Saturdays and Sundays from 12-4pm. Add $15 for AYCD, unlimited champagne, mimosas, screwdrivers or bloody mary’s. Prices have gone up a bit and the place has been a bit more crowded lately since it was featured on The Hills and The City…hasn’t stopped us, though.
Poco — $22.95 for any brunch item (hear that the poco benedict, lobster mac n cheese and salmon blt are the way to go) + all you can drink mimosas, bloody marys and sangria. No time limit.
SarahJames Speakeasy – Ask your server for the bottomless mimosa special, and then after you buy the first one, all the refills are on the house!
Cafecita Bogota – Unlimited brunch drinks for $12.50 + you get your choice of brunch entree. Lasts til 6pm!
PS 450 — $22 Endless Brunch = any brunch menu item with unlimited bloody marys, mimosas, or bellinis. Or $12 for any brunch item + one drink.
S.O.B.’s – Bossa Nova Sunday Brunch = 3-course prix-fixe brunch w/ open sangria bar for $26.99/person. Seatings at 12 and 12:30 and 2 and 2:30.
City Lobster & Steak – The Times Square Brunch = choose any brunch item (most priced b/t $13-16) & add $5 for Unlimited Champagne, Mimosas, Bellinis, or Bloody marys.
Paradou – Saturdays and Sundays 11am-4pm. We’d describe it for you since we’ve been a few times, but they do a better job — “Belinis, Mimosas, Kir Royales, and more!!! All you can drink!!! Choice of entree. They’ve also added a DJ and the brunch party goes til 7pm on Sundays! Menu here
The Sunburnt Cow – Widely known to be the biggest Sunday party in town, arrive early if you want to take advantage of the $15 Endless Brunch…
Yerba Buena - Get unlimited bellinis, mimosas and jalapeno bloody mary’s for just $12 (menu says there’s a 1-hour limit, but we were there recently and they let us go quite a bit longer). Recommend making a reservation, but we had a great time sitting at the bar.
Zerza — Brunch entree + Free refills on our mimosas w/ your brunch for $13.95
Arte Cafe – Saturdays and Sundays from 10am-4pm, add $12 to your brunch selection and get unlimited champagne, mimosas, screwdrivers, strawberry sangria, bloody mary’s or peach bellinis
Vintage - $16-20 brunch item plus unlimited bellinis, mimosas, or bloody marys.
The East End — Sat-Sun from 12-4pm, $11.95 Free drink with your meal or upgrade to UNLIMITED drinks for only $10! (2hr max)
Hudson Diner - $10.95 brunch item plus unlimited mimosas or bloody marys
Roberto Passon – A mere $8 addition to your bill gets you unlimited Champagne, Mimosa, Screwdriver, Bloody Mary, Strawberry, Kiwi or Peach Bellini.
Maracas Mexican – The party starts at noon here on Saturdays and Sundays where $14.95 gets you a brunch food item + unlimited frozen margaritas, bloody mary’s and mimosas. Commenter Steve says, “Half a block from BLP is Maracas, serving a Mexican AYCD brunch for just $15. ($10 w/o drinks.) Entrees are pretty good-haad a good breakfast burrito and huevos rancheros. They also have the bloodies, mimosas, and frozen margs (regular or strawberry). The bloodies were not that good when I tried them, other drinks are fine.”
Double Crown: Brunch item + All You Care to Drink DIY Bloody Mary’s for $32. Brunch served Saturday and Sunday from 11am-3:30pm
Waterstone Grill – For $10 extra, add unlimited bloody mary’s, mimosas and champagne to your $10.95 prix-fixe brunch
Philip Marie - Unlimited mimosas with your meal on Saturdays (11am-4pm) for $16.95 and unlimited bloody mary’s with your meal on Sundays (11am-4pm) for $16.95
Beacon – Sundays from 10:30am-2:30pm, get bottomless wood-roasted bloody mary’s for $11
Bondi Road – Soho sister of E. Village’s Sunburnt Cow. Same great $18 AYCD Sunday Brunch special.
Cafe 50 West – $15 Bottomless Brunch every Saturday and Sunday from 11am-3pm
Regate Bistro - Thanks to commenter lesider who informed us that you can get any brunch item + unlimited drink for $16
Steak Frites - Saturday and Sunday between 11:30am-4:30pm. $15.95 for brunch item + unlimited mimosa and bloody mary’s
L’Asso – Saturday and Sunday Brunch. $15 for a brunch entree + a coffee + mimosa or beer or wine.$20 for unlimited booze
Tre – For $17 (cash only) you get any brunch item + unlimited champagne, mimosas or bellinis
Tapeo 29 – Saturdays and Sundays from 11am-5pm. Unlimited bloody marys, screwdrivers and mimosas (website doesn’t give prices)
Calle Ocho – Saturday and Sunday brunches ($12-$18) include AYCD Sangria Brunch plates run from $12 to $18 at this Upper West Side Latin spot, which serves omelettes with tomato and Manchego cheese or Venezuelan corn crêpes with smoked salmon. That also gets you unlimited access to the eight-flavor sangria buffet, featuring everything from tamarind-vanilla to mango-pineapple-lemongrass.
Bone Lick Park – Thanks to commenter Steve for the following: “AYCD brunch from about $13-16. Entrees include delicious beef ribs, turkey sausage on a muffin, pulled pork, fried oysters, plus a few omelet/waffle choices. Most of these come with very tasty eggs, au gratin potatoes or cheese grits, and some nice mini blueberry muffins. They also offer a big burger or fried chicken! Drinks include bloodies, mimosas, and frozen margs. ($1 extra for a strawberry or mango marg.) This place has become popular, and also has sidewalk seating. On Greenwich Ave at 7th Ave (by 11th St.), next to 2 Boots pizza. Brunch served on Sat and Sun.”
Nero – $24.95 gets you a brunch item + unlimited champagne, bellinis, mimosas, bloody’s or screwdrivers.
Film Center Cafe – All brunch menu items are $11.95. Add just $8 for unlimited champagne, mimosas, bellinis, bloody mary’s, sangria, screwdrivers and frozen margs, oh my.
Intermezzo – Same deal as Il Bastardo. Add $15 for unlimited champagne, mimosas and bloody mary’s.
Sotto Voce (B’lyn) - Sat.–Sun., 10 a.m.–4 p.m.; $12.95 prix-fixe brunch includes unlimited mimosas, champagne or bloody mary’s.
Artepasta (W. Village) – Noon til 4pm on Sundays, all brunch items are $10 and for $5 more you get unlimited mimosas and champagne
Garage - Jazzy Brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11am-4pm. Choice of $15.95 for brunch item + 1 drink or add $6 for unlimited mimosas, screwdrivers and bloody mary’s
Lasagna Ristorante (3 locations) – $12.95 for brunch items and add $7 for unlimited drinks
Puttanesca – Brunch food items are $12 and for another $12 you get unlimited champagne, mimosa, screwdriver, bloody mary, strawberry or peach bellini
Harry’s Cafe & Steak - Unlimited Champagne Brunch from 12-4pm. 4 different kinds of champagne cocktails served, including kir royale, blood orange mimosa and bellini.
El Azteca - $11.95 includes brunch item + unlimited sangria or regular frozen margaritas
The Sixth Ward - Unlimited mimosas and brunch item for $13.95
Dolce Vita – $20 gets you unlimited Mimosas or Bellinis at Brunch with a choice of entree and side dish.
Jarnac - $10 gets you unlimited mimosas or bloody mary’s from noon-3pm on Sundays.
BarBaresco: Unlimited Champagne, Mimosas, Screwdrivers or Bloody Mary’s. All you can drink. Add $8.
La Carbonara: Add $12 to any brunch item for Unlimited Cocktails (Bloody’s, Bellini, Mimosa, Screwdrivers or Sangria).
Braii: Unlimited passion fruit Mimosas. Exotic brunch menu feat. ostrich Benedict, Rooibos French toast, boereworse & more. Buy a Peri Peri Mary and get one on the house.
Regional: Feat. an unlimited refill Mimosas brunch (buy one, the rest is free). Also available on Saturday.
Patois: Brunch: 11am-4pm, $12.95, get a menu item with unlimited coffee, mimosas, virgin bloody marys & assorted breads.
Village Pourhouse (both locations): Village Pourhouse Downtown: $25 for an entree and all you can drink special. Village Pourhouse Uptown: $20 for an entree and all you can drink special. Click here for more deets.
2+ Complimentary Drinks, aka the “All-You-Should-Drink” Brunch Spots
Absinthe Wine Bar - $20 brunch special that includes an entrée plus 3 alcoholic beverages (Pineapple Mimosa, Mixed Berry Bellini, Pomegranate Mint Bellini, Absinthe Sangria, or the Mint Coconut Sparkler). See what The Lunch Belle thought about it here.
Essex – 3 drinks included with your brunch order, cash only. Saturday & Sunday 11:00-4:30. Sunday Sundown Brunch 4:30-8:00
Baker Street - $11.95 gets you a brunch item + 2 drinks (beer is option)
Oliver’s Bar & Grill - $13.95 prix-fixe brunch gets you Two Drinks & One Brunch Entree (choose from Mimosa, Bloody Mary, Screwdriver, Draft Beer, Well Drinks, Coffee, Tea & Soda)
Primitivo Osteria - Entree price includes choice of 2 bloodys, unlimited mimosas, or 2 screwdrivers
Choice Kitchen & Cocktails – $14.95 gets you a brunch item + 2 complimentary Bloody Marys, Mimosas, Bud Light Drafts, sodas, juices, coffee or tea
Thor – $18 brunch prix-fixe gets you a brunch item, coffee/tea + 2 cocktails (Bellini, Bloody Mary, Mimosa or Screwdriver). And additional drinks are only $5 each.
One Complimentary Drink Brunch Spots
BLT Market (pricey at $38, but at least it comes with a complimentary cocktail)
Gabriela’s ($11.95. includes a free Margarita)
Frederick’s (downtown and madison)
Opia ($20 three-course prix-fixe brunch includes Mimosa, Bellini or Bloody Mary)
Nolita House (Friday brunch and Weekend Bluegrass Brunch — complimentary mimosa or sangria with entree purchase)
Most all of the BR Guest Restaurants:
- Blue Fin
- Isabella’s (Sunday Brunch)
- Wildwood Barbeque has added a complimentary brunch drink to its brunch menu
Brasserie Cognac – $19.95 gets you 1 drink, 1 appetizer and 1 main course
Centro Vinoteca: Offering a $16.95 Brunch Prix Fixe served Saturday & Sundays. Includes Selected Entree, Dolci & Drink!
The Smith – Get a free brunch drink with your order.
After recently hitting up the very budget friendly boozy brunch at Roberto Passon, we decided to hit up another New York City Restaurant Group all-you-can-drink brunch spot this past weekend. We were headed to the west side for the Cochon 555 event, so we decided to first check out Il Bastardo in Chelsea (191 7th Ave btw 21st & 22nd). Did Lauren and Whitney’s visit on the Hills and all the recent attention to this neighborhood staple change the brunch scene, or more importantly the brunch prices?
First of all, we noted that it was a lot more crowded than normal. Our friend Leena had introduced this AYCD brunch to us a couple of years ago and it used to be only really packed on those beautiful sunny days when you can take full advantage of their al fresco dining. We were happy to see it doing so well, even if the place was packed with Lauren Conrad wannabees.
Secondly, the add-on all-you-can-drink option is now $15 (I vaguely remember it being less) and all of the menu items seem to be a couple dollars more. This is certainly more than Roberto Passon’s $8 AYCD and brunch entrees under $12, but it still could be a deal (depending on how many mammouth size glasses of bubbly, mimosas, screwdrivers, or bloody marys you can put back).
I had the Chicken Caesar salad for $10 and Andy had the Omelette with Virginia ham, sauteed mixed mushrooms, and he added on mozzarella for $9. We both had the AYCD special at $15 a person and we tried a side of broccoli rabe at $7.
I love their Caesar salad- there is a ton of the chicken paillard and it is pounded perfectly paper thin and topped with freshly ground black pepper. The parmesan slices are also fresh, thin, and plentiful. The dresssing is not overly creamy and has nice acidic balance. Andy’s omelette was awesome! Strangely, it came out looking more like a frittata than an omelette, but the flavors did not disappoint. He never eats the potatoes (watching out for those pesky carbs) but he finished them all this time- either he was very hungry or they were VERY good.
Lastly, our broccoli rabe was lovely- great garlic potency without being too oily. I don’t think the serving size was necessarily worth $7 for a brunch side, though.
All in all, we were very happy with the food but we were even more happy with the service. Everytime I put a dent in my giant (and I mean giant- no flutes here) glass of champagne, our waiter came by, bottle in hand, and topped me off. You can’t go wrong on a relaxing Sunday afternoon at a place with the background music of corks popping ever few minutes. Now, for our next AYCD brunch… any ideas?
There is no better deal than an all you can drink brunch in NYC and there is no better deal for an all you can drink brunch than Roberto Passon in Hells Kitchen (741 Ninth Avenue at 50th Street). With no brunch items over $12 and with unlimited brunch cocktails (champagne, mimosas, screwdrivers, bloody marys, or strawberry/kiwi/peach bellinis) at $8 per person, it has to be one of if not the best brunch deal in NYC. Thanks to Wined & Dined commenter Dan for recommending it to us. More on our AYCD brunch at Roberto Passon and a new boozy brunch restaurant group discovery after the jump…
First of all, unlike some boozy brunch destinations, Roberto Passon lets you switch between cocktails so you can try them all out if you would like. Second of all, unlike some Italian restaurants that do brunch, Roberto Passon had an extensive selection of traditional brunch items. You can select from breakfast items such as french toast, pancakes, eggs benedict and omelets, in addition to the expected paninis, salads, pastas, and meat and fish choices. And the prices are ridiculous- the most expensive item being the grilled salmon with spinach at $12 (seriously).
Andy had the fusilli with chicken, tomato and bacon for $9 and it was delicious. It was flavorful, spicy, creamy, and the fusilli was perfectly al dente. I was in the mood for something relatively light so I had the Caesar salad with grilled shrimp for $9. The salad was crisp and the Caesar dressing authentic. I also found the grilled shrimp to be seasoned well. It went very well with the massive glasses of bubbly that were poured generously and refilled constantly.
Once my first large wine glass of champagne was poured, I was instantly reminded of Il Bastardo, another favorite all you can drink brunch spot in Chelsea. I checked out the Roberto Passon website and I learned that Roberto Passon is owned by the New York City Restaurant Group (NYCRG). The NYCRG owns three (now four) all you can drink brunch spots that I’ve been to countless times- Nero in Meatpacking, Il Bastardo in Chelsea, and Arte Cafe on the UWS. They also own Bar Baresco, Bocca Bacco, Gallo Nero, Zucchero e Pomodori, Cara Mia, Intermezzo, Maria Pia, film center cafe, Scarlatto, and Puttanesca. Their aim is to “provide delicious food at inexpensive prices” and boy do they succeed at boozy brunches. Cheers to NYCRG- keep up the great work!
Well, you know how much Andy and I love the all-you-can-drink brunch, but not every weekend day is fit for such an early all-out party. So, where do you go if you still want a great brunch at a good value? You would normally not expect a B.R. Guest Restaurant to be the answer, but with 9 NYC restaurants (Atlantic Grill, Ocean Grill, Isabella’s, Blue Water Grill, Blue Fin, Primehouse NY, Dos Caminos Park, Soho, and 3rd Ave) offering reasonably priced brunch dishes that all come with a complimentary brunch cocktail, you really can find an amazing and high quality value brunch. Find out how the two of us enjoy a delicious brunch with frozen prickly pear margaritas for under $30 bucks, after the jump…
So, the brunch menus do still have some pricey items, but if you stick with the basics as if you were in your neighborhood diner or favorite breakfast place, you can really get away with a deal in one of these spots- AND with much better service and a nicer ambiance. Yes, you don’t have the cozy, country atmosphere you may enjoy at some of our other brunch faves, but you will certainly get great food and a quality cocktail.
Andy and I head to our local Dos Caminos on 3rd Ave. often in the warmer months to enjoy brunch in the sun on their large outdoor patio. I order the wild mushroom and huitlachoche omelette (goat cheese, epazote and salsa verde) that comes with a generous portion of spicy home fries for $13 (AND a Frozen Prickly Pear margarita on the house that normally sells for $11). Andy changes it up every now and then, but he tends to like the Dos Caminos Chicken Cobb Salad (grilled chicken breast, tomato, avocado, chorizo, grilled corn, onion, and queso fresco cilantro-basil vinaigrette) for $15 (AND a spicy bloody mary on the house- cocktails normally run around $12). So we end up with a $28 brunch + tax and tip.
For comparison, if we were to head to our our local Moonstruck diner, the greek omelette I normally order with added mushrooms would cost me $10.50 (and it would not be nearly as fluffy or use the same fresh ingredients as Dos does). Andy’s Cobb salad would be $12.25 (and an extra $1.50 if he wanted it chopped). Total diner brunch= $22.75 + tax + tip. You may be saving $5 and change, but you’ve lost your fresh market ingredients, better service, nicer atmosphere, and (most importantly) your delicious brunch cocktails!
Think about Isabella’s Farmer’s Market Egg White Omelette with turkey bacon, market vegetables, and tomato salsa with a glass of cold, crisp champagne for $12.50 the next time you pay $2 for every extra ingredient and $2 more for egg whites while ordering the greasy omelette from your local diner. Think real value.
Check out the brunch menus:
- Blue Fin
- Isabella’s (Sunday Brunch)
We were really excited to try Prune – especially after hearing it is a favorite among chefs/restaurateurs (Bourdain and Ripert swear by it) and seeing the crowds that form outside on any given Saturday and Sunday for brunch. Critics have been heaping praise upon chef Gabrielle Hamilton (Prune apparently was her childhood nickname) for years now. This past Sunday in particular was a frigid, windy Fall day, but that didn’t stop us and our friends Amber and Andy from huddling with the masses to wait for a table. For those who haven’t been, Prune is a pint-size restaurant in the E. Village that is quite charming in that old French country kind of way, with worn walls, antique mirrors, and open French doors. To say the place is tightly packed is an understatement. Tables are close together, just barely letting a person fit in between each table and inundating diners with lively chatter from neighboring tables. What we thought after the jump…
We got to Prune right around 2:30 and we were seated by 3:00. Much better than we expected. One of the reasons the line appears so long outside is that there’s no waiting by the bar. Typically, we would chill inside with a drink and wait for a table to open. Those seated just before us had been waiting closer to an hour and a half and we hear that a two hour wait time is not unusual. We actually got lucky and were able to skip a four-top ahead of us because they did not want to sit in the semi-private nook downstairs…are you kidding me? That’s the only spacious spot in the house. We were already off to a good start. Things were about to get better. The server came over to take our drink order and I was about to order my typical extra spicy bloody mary before realizing there was a full bloody mary menu (see below for the bloody choices). I went with the Southwest (Herradura Anejo tequila, smoked chipotle, peppers, limes), Jill opted for the Chicago Matchbox (homemade lemon vodka, pickled brussels sprouts, baby white turnips, caperberries, green beans, and radishes), Amber chose the Classic (Absolut vodka, celery and lemon) and Andy #2 ordered the Green Lake (Absolut vodka, wasabi and a beef jerky swizzle). I think the Green Lake won with the wasabi and beef jerky swizzle, but Jill’s was great, too. Best part is that every bloody comes with a side shot of beer. Great idea.
For our meals, Andy and I ordered the huevos rancheros (though I was dying to try the burger, but it’s not on the brunch menu), Amber got the Spaghetti a la Carbonara (mixed w/ egg, bacon, and pepper) and Jill the spicy stewed chickpeas nestle on eggs coated in buttered bread crumbs. I was struck by how small my huevos was, but it was pretty solid…nothing insane though. I thought Jill’s was delicious…mediterranean flavors blended nicely in the spicy stewed chickpeas with coddled, butter-crumble-crusted eggs sitting amid the stew. Definitely something you can’t get at any old diner. Jill and I also got a side of the lamb sausage, served pinwheel style and secured with a toothpick…a little pricey at $5 but pretty darn good.
I think Amber’s breakfast spaghetti took it though. I love going out to eat with Amber cause she always lets me clear her plate…and this was one plate I enjoyed clearing.
The carbonara sauce was nice, not too greasy or eggy, and the bacon bits were crispy and very flavorful. Only thing is I couldn’t really tell there was an egg component to the dish. Oh well, it was really good so it didn’t bother me too much.
To me, for a brunch place to be worth the wait and the higher cost (slightly overpriced + no free brunch cocktail = higher cost), the dishes have to be something different and amazing… definitely has to be more special than you would get from any old place on your corner. Like, for example, Norma’s ‘super cheesy’ french toast with applewood bacon is something different and special. At Prune, the bloody mary’s are the main draw. Unfortunately, they come with a price tag. For one bloody mary and one dish, we each paid $28. With all of the wonderful brunch places in the E. Village that offer up at least one free cocktail, Prune’s not worth it to me. I’ll take the chicken fried steak w/ eggs + 3 drinks for $16 at Essex over my $28 Prune brunch any day. We will be back to try dinner, though. Have heard great things about the roasted marrow bones.
I also don’t get all the rules, which I find strange for a place that seems so chill and easy-going…no cell phones, no substitutions, no free coffee refills, etc. Didn’t happen to us, but I’ve heard people complain about being pushed to pay and leave. Makes sense though with a place that small.
—–BLOODY MARY MENU—–
\\served w/ a shot of light beer as a chaser//
Classic (Absolut vodka, celery and lemon)
Danish (Aquavit, fresh fennel and a whole marinated white anchovy)
Bullshot (Absolut vodka, beef bouillon, Worcestershire, Tabasco)
(Bloody Bull Bullshot w/ Bloody Mix)
Mariner (Absolut citron vodka, clam juice and obires)
Southwest (Herradura Anejo tequila, smoked chipotle, peppers, limes)
Caesar (Boodles British gin, clam juice, and a pickled egg)
Maria (classic w/ sangria tequila)
Deadly (classic w/ Absolut vodka and a splash of sangria tequila)
*Green Lake (Absolut vodka, wasabi and a beef jerky swizzle)
*Chicago Matchbox (homemade lemon vodka, pickled brussels sprouts, baby white turnips, caperberries, green beans, and radishes)