Soo I might be slightly biased about this brunch location, but that doesn’t make me any less of a critic. Yes, it just so happens I picked my future wedding venue as my birthday brunch destination to bring my family for my birthday.
I knew that reviewing the Central Park Boathouse would be risky..any sign of runny eggs or a dry pastry could mean a much larger wedding anxiety attack. But I also thought, what better way to test the caliber of my food than to “mystery shop” the menu! So off we went, sweating our way through Central Park in the heat of August to arrive at the place of my future nuptials.
The Boathouse is situated in an idyllic location, smack in the middle of Central Park. The Boathouse was built in 1872, and re-build several times until 1954, where it became the restaurant that stands there today. You can feel the history here when you walk up the building, and it’s incredibly romantic walking past the mahogany bar and fireplace and listening to the tunes of the piano with views of the beautiful lake and park.
It couldn’t have been a more perfect day to sit outside. We were instantly transplanted somewhere far from New York City, watching people row around the mini lake. I hadn’t been to the Boathouse in warmer months, and loved that all of the windows opened to make the restaurant feel indoor/outdoor. Eating here in the summer is a must.
It’s no family brunch without my dad ordering a bloody Mary. I personally can’t handle a full bloody but love a few sips, which is why I love brunching with my dad. This version was regular in all of the right ways, and he enjoyed it so much he ordered a second.
Sometimes I wish I wasn’t such a creature of habit, because I ordered a warm latte in 95 degree humid weather, which only made me hotter. I couldn’t help it! This one was delicious, so I suffered through the heat to finish the entire cup.
And then, it was time for food. I ordered the eggs Benedict because after digesting hundreds of city Benedicts, I think this it’s a great starting point for restaurant comparison. This Benny was great. It wasn’t too heavy on the Hollandaise sauce, had a well proportioned amount of spinach, and had a nice chef’s vegetable side.
Let’s talk about this challah French toast with Gran Marnier banana berry compote. How unreal does that picture look? Yea..it tasted like that, too. It was rich and decadent without being too sweet, and the entire table kept stealing bites of my mom’s selection.
Paul couldn’t pass up the steak paillard and eggs on the menu, served with potato and gruyere tart. He loved the (massive) size of the flattened steak and said it was perfectly cooked and tender.
Last up was the fried eggs with Esposito’s breakfast sausage and the potato gruyere hash. We weren’t expecting the sausage to be so huge. It was more of the main event than the eggs! Meat lovers will love this, but people looking for a side of breakfast sausage may be put off. Regardless, it tasted great for a straightforward plate.
The Bitches say: Five Champagne flutes. Yay! We’re so glad the quality of Central Park Boathouse’s brunch matched the caliber of the beautiful ambiance. Eating brunch here in warmer months is a must for any New Yorker.
Central Park Boathouse serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.