Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Brunch at Jane in NYC

Brunch in NYC is an institution. People take it quite seriously, which is evident in the tremendous lines outside of just about every brunch spot in town. For the majority of NYC brunches I've experienced, it's simply a waiting game. You show up, put your name on the list, and wait. And wait. And wait some more. When you find a happening brunch spot that TAKES RESERVATIONS, you know you're onto something. With enough foresight, you will not have to wait to enjoy your eggs. And when you're this hungry, do you really want to wait for an hour? I certainly don't.

Raspberry Champagne Cocktail and The Best Bloody Mary

Jane hosts a busy Sunday brunch which not only allows you to make reservations, but also offers a free cocktail with your brunch order! As long as you order off a specific list (of amazing options) you also have your choice of cocktails. Everything from a bloody Mary to a white peach bellini and a passion screwdriver, these are not boring brunch cocktails. They have as much appeal as the rest of the unique menu.

A walnut raisin bread accompanies a simple white bread and strawberry butter as you sit and wait, watching drool-worthy plates pass. The strawberry butter was honestly too mild to really pick out the strawberry flavor, but we thought it was tasty nonetheless, and easily spreadable which makes all the difference in bread baskets.

I had wanted to try both the Benedict Jane and the Benedict Johnny (the menu features 5 Benedicts, also including a traditional version, Florentine, and one with lobster), and asked the waiter if I could get one of each. Absolutely not, I was told. The chef wouldn't do it. I was honestly disappointed. I understand that during a busy brunch rush the chef doesn't want to be bothered with specific requests, but for what it's worth, most restaurants SHOULD make an effort to do the small things to please diners (I've had restaurants split appetizers onto multiple smaller plates for diners to have their own share instead of picking off of one plate, even without us asking, just to make things easier for US). You never know who will be writing about their meal on the world wide web for everyone and their mother to read.

Benedict Jane - Poached Eggs, Crab and Crawfish Cakes, Spinach, Tarragon Hollandaise $16 (includes free cocktail)

Fortunately, my amazing friend was totally cool with us each getting one of the two and then sharing. A solution to our problem! I am eternally grateful :) The Benedict Jane features a crab and crawfish cake base, wilted spinach, poached eggs and a tarragon Hollandaise. I thought it was scrumptious. The cake itself was tender and flavorful, a great compliment to a runny poached egg with some extra oomph from the spinach and mildly herbed Hollandaise.

Benedict Johnny - Poached Eggs, Maple Chicken Sausage, Corn Pancakes, Roasted Tomato Hollandaise $15 (includes free cocktail)

The Benedict Johnny started with a cornbread cake base topped with a maple chicken sausage patty, poached egg, and roasted tomato Hollandaise. We truly loved this variation as well, and really loved the sweet element of the cornbread cake with the sweet and slightly spiced sausage patty (I always put maple syrup on my sausage... I love sweet and savory with my breakfast sausage especially).

We really got to experience the best of both worlds by going halfsies with our brunch picks. The fact that Jane offers so many Benedicts on their menu makes me really wish they had a mix and match option. But in lieu of that, I suggest going with a friend who doesn't mind sharing. We really enjoyed our selections, as well as the home fries laced with melted onions and red peppers that came on the side. Our cocktails were really enjoyable as well (and really, who doesn't love a cocktail with brunch?). Considering that an alcoholic beverage is included with your meal, the prices are especially fair (and don't forget, this is New York City... brunch can sometimes get seriously pricey depending on where you go). I LOVE that they take reservations too, and even though the chef couldn't make a simple substitution (even if I said pretty please), I would still happily add Jane to my NYC brunch hit list. And I know I'm not the only one :) Will definitely be returning...


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