It has been way too long since I’ve had a good brunch. Holiday parties and festive happy hours won the calorie contest, and my winter brunches have been sadly prioritized. I was thrilled to dust off my “brunch hat” off for a recent visit to Cafe Clover, a New York staple that I still can’t believe I hadn’t tried before today.
The interiors were lovely; bright and light, with blue upholstery, white walls, marble tables, and glass that opened up the dining room to the bar on the other side. The restaurant’s natural sunlight is a photographer’s dream, and makes Cafe Clover a perfect place to start a morning. I recently discovered that the interiors were featured in Architectural Digest, which makes perfect sense; the curation deserves to be on a magazine spread.
Because it was the first brunch I’ve had in a while, I had every excuse to lubricate our meal with some alcohol. At Cafe Clover, it was in the form of a mimosa. I loved that there were a variety of brunch cocktails on the menu, and that most were a spin on a healthy morning juice, incorporating ingredients like cucumber vodka and beet-infused Grey Goose. There were also non-alcoholic options, like cold-pressed juices and smoothies.
I also ordered a latte, which was delicious.
My best bud Sarah joined me for the meal, and chose the classic Bloody. She said it was a good balance of spice and sweet.
We got right down to business. For mains, Sarah ordered the poached farm eggs with spaghetti squash chia rosti, tomato kale pan roast, and herb vinaigrette. I was super jealous (and my gluten free self was super sad they used grains in the rosti!) because she said this was as good as it sounded. The charred tomato and kale had great flavor, and she loved sprinkling the eggs with the herb sauce.
I ordered the beet and mushroom veggie burger with spicy sweet potato jam, tahini sauce, and farm cheddar, because I couldn’t love more ingredients in one menu description. I was eyeing a few other brunch items, like the quinoa pancakes, but sadly none were gluten-free. This dish was awesome and my new favorite veg burger. I don’t normally like beets but the sweetness it introduced to the bite was awesome. The gluten free burger bun was completely fine as far as gluten free bread goes, but don’t fear – you can get it with regular bread.
I ordered a side of fried egg to make it more of a brunch burger, and I don’t know why this isn’t a listed option on the brunch menu, because it was the perfect addition for the dish (if I don’t say so myself).
We also ordered a side of the sweet potato home fries, which was more like a bowl of sweet potato fries and were out of this world. Can you tell I love sweet potatoes? I wasn’t disappointed.
As Sarah and I traded stories of our crazy Novembers and successfully binged on sweet potatoes, we both acknowledged that Cafe Clover would be an excellent spot to bring our parents and other out-of-towners, because it really captures all the great things about New York brunch. Also, it’s a buzzing vibe, which would have been fun if we decided to continue drinking.
The Bitches say: A. Cafe Clover’s menu is refreshingly unique, and sprinkled with ingredients that make you feel healthy and play up your brunch cravings. The food and drinks were well executed and as good in person as they sounded on paper, and I’ll be ordering that veg burger to go in the very near future.
Cafe Clover serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 3 p.m.