Any New Yorker knows that brunch in NYC is an institution and finding the perfect spot can be somewhat of a dilemma. When searching for a brunch restaurant, you will of course want great food, but you don’t want to have to brave insane crowds and 2-hour waits because nothing about that is relaxing. Another wrench? Unfortunately, in Manhattan, most of the best brunch spots don’t take reservations–leading you to either suck it up and wait on a long line for your eggs benny, or forget about it and head to a mediocre diner where at least you won’t have to wait long. So what’s a brunch-goer to do?
Enter the Four Seasons New York’s Hangover Brunch. Finally, an answer to my prayers! Delicious food, in a calm environment, nearby to all the best shopping, where you can make reservations! So I went this past week to check out The Garden at the Four Seasons and see if their cuisine lived up to my high brunch standards–and I am happy to report that of many brunch places I’ve tried lately, The Garden took the (pan) cake! It was amazing!
The restaurant is gorgeous and overlooks the Hotel’s Grand Lobby. In true Four Seasons style, the restaurant is flanked by two enormous pots of flowers that were simply stunning. The day I was here they were a bold red. The restaurant feels like an enchanted forest, there are huge African acacia trees set throughout the restaurant that are dramatically lit. This provides for a stunning yet relaxing environment.
Once I had taken in my surroundings it was time to check out the menu–and I knew exactly where to start. I’m a strong believer in brunch cocktails. Brunch is the kickoff to my week and I like to ease into it with a nice stiff drink. I’m always on the hunt for an original brunch beverage, something more original than your average mimosa (though that will do in a pinch). I found so many fun choices to choose from here though that I didn’t have to settle. My husband and I always hedge our bets and split two drinks. We chose the “Ellis Island” (Brooklyn Gin, Cointreau, Lillet Blanc and Lemon Juice) and the “New York Gin Cream” (Greenhook Ginsmiths Gin, Fox’s U-bet Vanilla Syrup, Milk, Soda Water), which was served with a New York Black-and-White cookie. Adorable! If I could have had a third, I would have went with a Bloody Maria (Deleón Silver Tequila, House Mix, Bourbon Pickled Carrots). But there’s always next time!
Time to order and we really ordered a feast! To start, I ordered a Kale Salad, which featured shaved Jersey peaches and saba dressing. It was the perfect blend of salty and sweet and the kale was shredded into tiny slivers that made eating it a pleasure. Hands down, my favorite Kale Salad I’ve ever had. My husband went for the smoked salmon pizzette, which featured wasabi cream, shaved onion and fresh dill and tarragon. It had four enormous pieces and it was delicious as well. It was so large he gave me a piece! And our devilish server decided to throw in an order of Tita’s famous passion fruit donuts–these were to die for (sometimes being a blogger has its perks-surprise donuts, yes please!
For our main courses we went with the waiter’s suggestions–my husband got the warm pastrami tartine, which came with poached eggs and mushroom gravy. It was like a New York take on Eggs Benedict. I cannot even tell you how delicious this was! And I know it sounds strange but the mushrooms were to die for. The pastrami was very lean so I much prefer this over a place like Katz’s where half the sandwich is fatty.
I opted for the Fried Chicken & Waffles, which was served with maple bourbon butter and applewood smoked bacon bits. The chicken and the waffles were absolutely incredible.
Then, the restaurant manager threw in an order of the pigs in a blanket. But these weren’t just any pigs or any blankets! The dish is two lemon ricotta pancakes wrapped around two chicken sausages with maple sugar. This is definitely a must-try. And we heard that the lobster hash is incredible as well–though as I am sure you can imagine there was simply no room!
Although somehow I found it in me to splurge for some dessert. We went for the Hazelnut Napoleon, which featured a praline croustillant and chocolate cream. This was delicious and beautiful but the Fromage Blanc Panna Cotta in plum soup stole my heart. And this says alot–I am totally a chocolate person.
The Garden serves weekend brunch from Noon until 2:30 PM. It also serves breakfast and lunch. It does not serve dinner but this intimate space can be rented out for evening events.
Visit the Four Seasons New York online for more information.
*All Photos taken by Katie Goldstein. Please contact me before using them*