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Entries in Brunch (11)


Food, Fashion and unforgettable spaces

All Photos taken by Giant Squid Press  Winter Brunch Outfit (Coat Vintage, Dress DVF,Anthropologie Collar)

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of being invited to the TasteArchitecture's Winter Champagne Brunch at Temple Court in Manhattan's City Hall neighborhood!  Mandeep Bedi, Founder & Creative Director of TasteArchitecture, has made it her mission to find gorgeous spaces (before they are torn down or refurbished) and use them as back drops for unforgettable meals and parties. Mandeep had her eyes set on Temple Court months ago and knew as soon as she entered the building that it would be a perfect setting for a Winter Champagne Brunch.

My only instructions that day were to dress in warm and chic attire (as it turned out my camel coat and fur collar were perfect for the chilly dining room). As I entered the building the elaborate glass ceilings, sculpted archways and delicate metal work were such a feast for the eyes  I almost  forget the decadant brunch that awaited me.  Warm winter squash crepes, artichoked benedict with truffled porcini sauce and croque madames were just a few of the beautiful dishes that were prepared. Temple Court is destined to become an Andre Balazs (owner of the Standard) Hotel,  but all the guests of that afternoon's brunch will never forget it's original glory. Thanks Mandeep!


Start your day off right

I really try to eat breakfast every morning. It just makes me feel healthier and more energized for the rest of the day.  Oh and I always say "if you're going to eat a big heavy sinful meal do it for breakfast, because you have all day to burn it off".  Right?! I typically have Greek yogurt with a piece of fruit and granola or an egg avocado sandwich.  For leisure mornings it is all about the huevos rancheros,  asparagus parmesan frittata or (like this morning) a piece of peach cobbler with coffee.   Although, my breakfasts are not half as beautiful as these photos from Simply Breakfast. So inspiring and her calendar looks great too.


Olive of Approval


My good friend Annie (an honorary member of the Bloody Mary Brigade) always says, "If you have a great Bloody Mary you really don't need breakfast!!" Truer words have never been spoken. An exceptional bloody should have a stand out garnish (celery, capers, pickles, shrimp, or assorted cured meats), perfect spice and overall unique complex flavor. A good one can make all your brunch dreams come true. Here are The Lady D Bloody Mary Brigade's top five picks for New York.

Prune -We love the selection here. TEN different amazing Mary's to try and each comes with a shot of Red Stripe to balance the flavor and mellow out the acidity. The "Chicago Matchbox" is a favorite, made with homemade lemon vodka and garnished with pickled brussel sprouts, baby white turnips, caper berries, green beans and radishes (see what we mean about not needing breakfast...this baby is a MEAL in a glass).  Other options include the "Greenlake" (a wasabi Mary with beef jerky garnish), "Danish" (made with aquavit, fennel and garnished with a white anchovy) and "The Southwest" (a tequila Mary made with chipotle pepper and lime).

Char no. 4- This is our ultimate go to spot for a uniquely smoky bloody. Their bloody is made with chipotle bourbon and garnished with an amazing house made pickle (I would get a side of those pickles, if I were you). This is a true kick in the pants and nice alternative, if vodka isn't your thing. This also is an outstanding compliment to all their smoky southern brunch fare.

Buttermilk Chanel- This wins for best bloody vodka and garnish pairings. They offer four real winners. My two favorites are "The Court Street", with rosemary vodka paired with an antipasti (cured meats and cheeses) on a stick and "The Star of the Sea” a celery-peppercorn vodka Mary with an oyster garnish.

Enid’s- You have to love the old reliable and this is it!! The perfect recipe of the original bloody, garnished with a HUGE caper berry... you can just tell a lot of love went into the recipe of this gem.  It's the, "DAMN THAT'S GOOD" every time kinda bloody. Also, please get a side of collard greens to go with this, you won't be sorry.

Clover Club-We love the Bloody Mary here cause the unexpected flavor is out of this world. The Bar Man's Bloody Mary is made with bourbon, fernet and loads or basil. Just the aromatic quality of the drink is worth coming to Cobble Hill for. I crave this drink every single weekend.... I’m not kidding...I kinda want it right NOW.

Do you have a Bloody Mary favorite? Are you mad we left something out? Let me know and I will get the brigade on it!!


Clover Club (Cobble Hill-Brooklyn)

all photos by Danielle Malmgren

 A post on Clover Club is really long over due.  That is simply because it is one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE places to eat brunch in Brooklyn. I find that many of these "old timey" bars really come up short in the food department...I mean a cute atmosphere can only go so far..ya know??  Here at Clover Club the food and cocktails go seamlessly with the beautiful speakeasy ambience.  I strongly suggest ordering the Bar Man's Bloody Mary, made with fresh basil, fernet and bourbon.  This beauty of a bloody has a much-coveted spot on my top Bloody Marys of New York (the full list will be coming soon...so keep your eyes peeled).  For eats the egg sandwich is a stand out. Two perfect fried eggs are topped with cheddar, red onion, bib lettuce and pepper bacon all between toasted sourdough slathered with aioli. The baked eggs with manchego and chorizo also hit the spot (not to mention the tomato sauce is the perfect for toast point dipping).  So if you were waiting for yet another reason to get your lazy bum out of bed and go to brunch... Clover Club would be it.

Clover Club210 Smith St.BrooklynNY 11201 nr. Butler St. 


Brunch done badly

Okay so you may have noticed my brunch posts have become a little more few and far between recently, well there is a reason for that. When I go out brunching it's usually to the same spots, because I know what I'm getting into. I want to leave feeling pleasantly full and in overall good spirits. Lately, I have been extremely underwhelmed with new brunch spots and over all it has come to my attention that some really shady shit is passing for brunch lately... Let me elaborate.

image found at Sweet Paul Blog

-Rip Off Cocktails Okay people...now I know that we all love to pay $10-15 for fancy cocktails here in New York City, but come on sometimes it's just not worth it.  My bloody mary should be DAMN good if it's $10 and up. PLEASE do not dilute it with tomato juice or overpower it with horseradish.  Oh...and a mimosa should really never be over $6 unless you are using some knock my socks off champagne or I'm getting a pint of it. 

-Sub par egg dishes  Let's put the love back into the egg dishes! I can not tell you how many times I have had an omelette with a scant bit of chives and a tiny bit of "seasonal, heirloom, artisanal veggies" and I said "umm are you kidding!!". I know we can do better. 

-Grease bombs  Just because something is a southern infusion of  bacon, butter and gravy does not make it good. Lets get creative instead of fattening and greasy.  Give me some options besides granola and yogurt that aren't going to make me need a wheelbarrel to get out of your restaurtant. Yuck

-No brunch menu   Having a "brunch menu" that is really your lunch menu with one stupid frittatta on it is NOT A BRUNCH menu. Come on this is elementary. Don't serve brunch if you don't have time to develop food for it. I will hold off and visit you another time. It's ok not everyone does brunch and maybe you should sit this one out.


Lady D


Vinegar Hill House (Dumbo, Brooklyn)

The Vinegar Hill House, is a gem buried in the secret cobble stone streets of Vinegar Hill near Dumbo, Brooklyn.

It is a place you could spend an entire Sunday afternoon sipping on a french press coffee or a "Swan Song" cocktail (applejack, brandy, orange & grenadine), nibbling on toast with orange marmalade and butter, and enjoying their sunny patio or cozy dining room.

Something about the old country cottage's, mismatched antique silverware, screen doors, folk art pottery and big farm house tables make me crave simple, beautiful, unpretentious food.

Luckily there is nothing short of local, seasonal, perfect brunching to be had here.   Feast upon the Motosierra aka  "The Chainsaw"  (a light sourdough pancake filled with Chorizo and jalapeno topped with a pineapple mango salsa), or the Ful Medames (poached egg, cucumber, olives and lemon), or possibly The Angela's Sourdough Pancakes (with fresh ricotta and pecan bourbon sauce).

Yes it could be all these things that make me want to go back to Vinegar hill, the maple bacon, the yummy cocktails, the roasted octopus on the dinner menu.....or it could be just the adventure of getting there.

Vinegar Hill House 72 Hudson Ave.BrooklynNY 11201  nr. Water St.

All Photos by Danielle Malmgren


Miss Lily's (Soho, NY)

Ever since I went to Jamaica last February, I can't stop thinking about the amazing food.  Jerk chicken, ackee and saltfish, and endless amount of cool refreshing beers, make the island a delicious paradise.  When I heard about the Jamaican brunch at Miss Lily's, here in New York, I had to go.  

The airy space has a rec room feel, with diner style booths, reggae albums on the wall and scratchy rock steady beats flowing from the stereo. We started our meal off with the Hotstepper (soju, spicy bloody mary mix and chili salt) and the Bam Bam (Carib beer, lime, hot sauce and salt).  For eats we devoured the Jerk Pork Belly Hash,  layered with jewels of pork, fried eggs, peppers and onions and next dove into the Jamaican rancheros with over easy eggs, plantains, stew peas, and scotch bonnet peppers. We finished off with a refreshing Ting a Ling (red stripe beer and Ting citrus soda).

The brunch went far beyond my memorys of jamaican cuisine and slowed me down into the relaxed island pace,  just don't be surprised when you gaze out the window and instead of finding blue waters, the bustle of Houston Street is what greets you.

Miss Lily's  132 W. Houston St.New YorkNY   nr. Sullivan St.

Before you go refer to the below glossary of popular Jamaican food and fruit

Ackee- A fruit, used for its yellow flesh. Popular at breakfast due to it's mild flavor that is reminiscent of eggs.  Served with Salt Fish

Callaloo- Leafy green vegetabel, similar to a collard green

Festival-a fried biscuit or dumpling shaped like a sausage

Jelly-Baby coconut meat

Salt Fish- Salt cod that is boiled down and usually sauteed with ackee, onions and scotch bonnet peppers.

Seapuss-Jamaican Octopus 

Sorell Juice-This juice made from the petals of the Sorell plant (a member of the hibiscus family) can be described as tart, somewhat like cranberry but with a mellower, more pleasant flavor.

Soursop- An irregular shaped fruit with a cottony pulp that is invitingly fragrant yet acidic. Tastes of strawberry and pineapple with an underlying creamy flavor reminiscent to a coconut or banana

Sweetsop- A heart-shaped lumpy fruit pack with pits and sweet custard like flesh.  Tastes of pineapple.

All photos by Danielle Malmgren