I chowed. Oh yes I did.
The Ace Hotel in south-midtown Manhattan may be a hipster paradise (let’s just admit that right off the bat), but its dining room, The Breslin, will appeal to a wide variety of tastes. Be forewarned, there is usually a wait (we relaxed at the bar with the newspaper and enjoyed glasses of a delicious dry cider), but the upshot is that they don’t take reservations (unless you have a party of 6 or more), so I’ve never had to wait more than a half an hour.
The food here takes time, but the cozy, relaxed atmosphere more than makes up for the time it takes for your meal to arrive (and everything ends up being cooked to perfection). My boyfriend and I headed up there for brunch last weekend (we also had dinner there last spring) and what a menu it was:
freshly baked pastries
cranberry orange muffin
apple walnut coffee cake
mixed berry scone
hot cross bun
selection of pastries
mixed fruit smoothie
greek yogurt with macerated fruit, pistachio praline & local honey
ej’s granola with cold organic milk
chilled grapefruit with ginger sugar & mint
steel cut oatmeal with maple sugar & organic milk
seafood sausage with beurre blanc & chives
fried peanut & banana sandwich with bourbon & vanilla
herbed caesar salad with anchovy croutons
goat cheese & leek tart
full english breakfast
fried eggs, pork sausage, blood pudding, bacon, tomato & mushrooms
whole wheat pancakes with apple butter, candied walnuts & maple syrup
poached eggs with curried lentils, yogurt & cilantro
baked eggs with spiced tomato & chorizo
chargrilled skirt steak with fried eggs & tomatillo salsa
grilled 3 cheese sandwich with house cured ham or egg
chargrilled lamb burger with feta, cumin mayo & thrice cooked chips
2 eggs | house cured bacon | house made sausage | roasted tomatoes
home fries | blood pudding
I tried the seafood sausage (I am 99% vegetarian, but every once in a while, I eat some crustaceans) and it was absolutely divine; superfresh, flavored with a lemon-butter sauce and so rich and flavorful.
My boyfriend ordered the whole wheat pancakes with apple butter, candied walnuts & maple syrup. The dollar-size pancakes were more fun (and less ridiculously belly-stuffing) than a traditional giant American plate of hotcakes, the walnuts were sweet and crunchy, and the maple syrup the real deal.
I accompanied my seafood sausage with a carrot-zucchini muffin and a perfectly-made Stumptown coffee.
Photos by Starre Vartan.