If you’re looking for a healthy yet upscale spot for a girls brunch, look no further than abcV, Chef Jean Georges’ vegetarian concept in Flatiron. We’re big fan of the charismatic, eccentric French chef, his pricey cuisine, and his beautiful, fancy pants dining destinations. Despite the restaurant being open for a year or two, abcV reservations are hard to come by — we booked a month in advance for a table for three.
The Flatiron restaurant is expansive, white, airy, and bright. It has a modern, minimalist aesthetic with the entire space (every wall, table, bar, and coffee machine) painted a bright white. The space is crowded, filled with girl groups and brunch dates Instagramming their meals. We were pleased to join our people and blended in in our designer athleisure, having just come from SoulCycle.
Our table was attended to by a team of waiters, each with a different role handled efficiently. The beverage menu is expansive, with nearly 50 types of wellness beverages: cold-pressed organic juices, shakes, house-made sodas, iced teas, kombuchas, healthy cocktails, and restorative tonics. While we loved the idea of a wellness elixir with alcohol, we didn’t love the price point of $16-19 a pop.
Today wasn’t the day to drop a few hundred on brunch. So, we opted instead to choose from the “vibrations” elixirs. I chose the “Center” with Ashwaganda, Brazilian ginseng, horsetail, pau d’arco, Bartlett pear, green apple, and agave. It was sweet and crisp, with the pears and green apples masking most of the rarer ingredients.
When we return, we’ll be sure to work our way through the boozy healthy cocktails, as the Golden Milk Toddy, and the beet root sherry cocktail sounded rather intriguing.
We opted to share everything, ordering off a menu rich in superfoods, interesting flavors, and lots of options for vegetarians, gluten-free diners, and healthy eaters of all types.
The vanilla chia seed bowl was rather bland, with the pudding lacking any flavor at all. It was topped with sliced grapes, apples, dates, and cacao nibs. We loved the cacao nibs and the dates, which added sweetness and texture, but there simply were not enough of them.
We also shared the soft scrambled eggs, served simply with broccoli, Rupert cheese, and dill. This was a clean, fresh, well-executed dish, but something you could easily make at home. Note to self: do not order one of the very few things you can cook (eggs) when dining at a Jean Georges restaurant. It just seems wasteful.
The wild mushrooms were simple yet flavorful, served with poached farm eggs, shallots, and herbs. We’re all wild for wild mushrooms, so this dish was a hit. We will say that the portions were rather small, hard to share among three girls who’d just hit up SoulCycle, while still $18 a pop. Yes, $18 for a few scrambled eggs and veggies.
The avocado lettuce wraps are a must-order. Butter lettuce wraps are filled with avocado and roasted squash, seasoned with cumin, serrano pepper, lime, and pepitas. The vegetables added a rich, smoothness, while the serrano peppers provided spice, and the pepitas added the perfect crunch. It all came together for a nice mix of texture and flavors.
The almond butter pancakes, which are gluten free, were presented in a delightful fashion: a beautiful stack of fluffy cakes, with almond butter slathered on the plate, a massive glorious dollop of whipped cream, and garnished with sliced bananas and almonds. Adjacent to the cakes was an adorable little beaker of maple syrup. Despite being free of gluten and any additives, the hotcakes were fluffy, moist, and flavorful.
The Bitches say: four Champagne flutes for a beautiful space, healthy, pristine cuisine, and creative cocktails and beverages. We wish the portions were a bit larger for the price point.
abcV serves brunch Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (212) 475-5829