Sunday Brunch at North End Grill

Brunch might be maligned by some, but I personally love brunch.  I love taking a few hours out each weekend for a leisurely meal, especially after a work out at Barry’s Bootcamp.  My favorite place to brunch in the neighborhood is Locanda Verde, but unless you are willing to get there at 10am or not eat until 3pm, the waits are kinda ridiculous.  For those who live in the downtown area, North End Grill is a great alternative – great food, accommodating service, and nice ambiance.  It is also a relatively large restaurant, so on most Sundays, you can just walk in and grab a table, no wait.

To start, the husband and I always share a croissant…

But not just any croissant.  It’s a maple bacon croissant ($5)!  One of the best breakfast pastries ever!  The top of the croissant is brushed with an ultra thin layer of slightly sweet glaze and when you cut into the croissant, it is filled with bacon cooked in maple syrup.  YUM!

Next, we shared a corn chowder with clams, rock shrimp and linguica sausage ($14).  This was very tasty,  but not what I expected, the chowder was very thin and watery.  It looks like they made the broth from boiling corn cobs but didn’t really incorporate corn bits in the soup.  So while I enjoyed this soup, it wasn’t really exactly what I was looking for.

For his main, he had the Johnnycake benedict with lamb bacon, poached egg and chipotle hollandaise ($17).  I didn’t taste this dish, so I cannot vouch for its level of deliciousness, but this is the third time he has ordered it, so it must be good!

For my main, I got the Lobster egg custard with sea urchin and bonito flakes ($17).  Not typically the type of dish I would order at brunch but once I saw egg custard and sea urchin, I was sold.  This dish was an umami bomb!  From the bits of lobster, to the lobster broth incorporated in the egg custard, to the sea urchin, to the fluttering flakes of bonito – it was non-stop flavor.  Very very delicious – a ridiculously decadent incarnation of chawanmushi.  I high recommend this dish, if you are willing to part with preconceived notions of what a brunch dish should be.

North End Grill is a great additional to the Battery Park City/World Financial Center/Tribeca neighborhood.  I hope more people are willing to ‘trek’ down here to give it a try. 

North End Grill – 104 North End Avenue  New York, NY 10282

Tip: For families with children, they are very accommodating!

Moving on…

A rare non-food related post…

I’ve lived in downtown Manhattan since the early 2000’s – Financial District/Battery Park City/Tribeca.  I’ve seen this area transform.  I’ve supported many of the local businesses.  In three weeks, I will be moving to my new apartment away from downtown Manhattan.  Lots of good memories here to say goodbye too.  But I will still be around, my office is located downtown after all.

So for the next few weeks, my posts might be more sporadic, but don’t worry, I will be back!

Early dinner at The NoMad

The husband and I enjoyed an early dinner at The NoMad, Daniel Humm and Will Guidara’s casually elegant restaurant.  Our tradition is to go to Eleven Madison Park to celebrate our anniversary, so when Humm and Guidara opened their more casual alternative, I was so excited to try it.

To start, zucchini pecorino bread, piping fresh from the oven.  Really tasty!  With bits of zucchini baked into the bread, a good indication of the deliciousness to come…

The NoMad – Zucchini pecorino bread

My appetizer, Tagliatelle with king crab, meyer lemon and black pepper.  This is one of their most popular appetizer dishes, and I can see why.  The pasta is made perfectly and the entire dish is a very balanced, just the right touch of sweet and savory evened out by the citrus and pepper.

The NoMad – Tagliatelle

Kevin’s appetizer, Egg with corn, polenta and bacon.  Another winner!  A perfectly poached egged sitting on top of sweet summer corn, polenta, ham sabayon and crispy bacon bits.  I love these types of egg dishes and I order it whenever I see it on a menu, this is one of the best versions I’ve had.  This dish is equal parts home-y and sophisticated in Humm’s hands.  I will dream of this tonight.

TheNomad – Egg

My entree, Suckling pig, confit with cherries, onions and wild greens.  The preparation of this suckling pig is reminiscent of the version at Eleven Madison Park, super tender and super moist from the confit preparation and the skin is crisped up just right.

The NoMad – Suckling pig

Kevin’s entree, Duck, roasted with fennel, peaches and pickled juniper.  Another great dish!  So tasty!  I only wish there was more peaches to go with every bite of that yummy duck.

The NoMad – Duck

We were so stuffed, but of course, we had to have dessert!  Strawberry shortcake with lemon and chamomile.  So light, so summery, so delicious!

The NoMad – Strawberry shortcake

Leisurely lunch at 15 East

15 East has a pretty good lunch deal.  $29 for a 3 course prix fixe.  On this visit, the first course was a choice of (1) home-made tofu served with ginger soy, (2) market greens with figs or (3) chilled summer corn soup.  Of course, I picked the corn soup – I love chilled soups and I love corn, really no other choice for me.  It was a very small portion, but the deliciousness more than makes up for the diminutive portion size, it was like eating corn off the cob in liquid form.

15 East – Chilled summer corn soup

Second course was a choice of (1) cold soba with shrimp tempura, (2) abalone risotto or (3) chef’s selection of sushi, 4 pieces and 1 roll.  All options sounded equally good, but today I was craving sushi.  I love that 15 East doesn’t dumb down the sushi selection and give tuna, salmon, etc.  Today, I got a negi toro roll, arctic char, snapper, yellowtail and scallop.  15 East has very high quality fish and a great selection.  Their sushi rice is quite good, I can’t say it’s as good as Sushi Yasuda but it is better than most places in the city.

15 East – Chef’s selection of sushi and roll

And I can’t leave 15 East without a few pieces of uni… 15 East had 4 types of uni on the menu today, from Chile, Santa Barbara, Hokkaido and Kyushu.  The uni pictured on the left is from Kyushu and the more orange-y one on the right is from Hokkaido.  The Hokkaido uni is more creamy, but the Kyushu uni had the more intense ocean taste of the two.  Both = sooooo good!

15 East – Hokkaido uni ($12) and Kyushu uni ($14)

The final course – any dessert off the menu.  I had the Mineoka Tofu, a scoop of home-made milk tofu in kuromitsu syrup.  Yum!  (Not photographed as tofu generally looks like a giant white blob with my poor iPhone photography skills)

  • 15 East – 15 East 15th Street – 212.674.0015