After living in Southeast Asia for about two and a half months, I was ecstatic to get back to my friends and life in New York City. I needed a few days to conquer the jet lag, but then convened a group to catch up on my adventures over a bottomless brunch, naturally.
My only requirement was to avoid Asian food, as I’ve had more of my fill of fish sauce, noodles, and dim sum. Our group had grand plans to celebrate the warm weather and check out the Spritzenhaus 33 beer garden in Greenpoint following brunch, so my friend Molly suggested Cow & Clover in Williamsburg for some seasonal, American fare.
Cow & Clover has some prime Williamsburg real estate, right on the corner of Kent and S. 2nd Street near the water. Especially for the area, the restaurant was quite spacious with expansive communal tables, perfect for groups. The eatery had an airy, industrial feel that was clean and inviting and we were drawn in by the massive wood-fired oven.
We made a reservation, but there was plenty of seating available at 1:15 p.m. on a Saturday. I surveyed the room and noticed most of my fellow brunchers—young, bearded Brooklynites in their late twenties and early thirties—were imbibing in Cow & Clover’s bottomless deal, $25 for unlimited Bloodys and mimosas.
Since we had an agenda focused on day drinking, our entire party participated in the boozy brunch option. We appreciated that our cups were constantly refilled and we could easily switch between the drink options. The boys both started with a Bloody, which they noted was zesty and quite drinkable, while the girls stuck with the bubbles.
Cow & Clover’s menu offers a variety of brunch and lunch-focused options featuring your usual suspects like French toast and Benedicts. I appreciated that a range of seasonal vegetables were highlighted on the menu, not surprising given the farm-to-table vibe.
After staring gluttonously at our neighbors’ delectable-looking burgers, three out of the five of us opted for the short rib burger topped with cheddar, spring onions, and a spicy onion. Molly and I split the burger and topped it with an egg.
This burger really hit the spot after months of Asian cuisine. It was the quintessential hearty American dish; the burger was juicy, the bun was buttery, and the entire sandwich was well flavored. Crispy French fries with fresh herbs balanced out the meal and were ideal for sharing.
Molly and I also split the vegetarian soft scramble, filled with winter vegetables and goat cheese. You really can’t go wrong with goat cheese and we felt a little less guilty about the burger from the generous serving of greens in this entrée.
My only complaint was the meager side salad served with our eggs. The greens were a bit dilapidated and it didn’t add anything to the dish. We could have done without, or even better, enjoyed more French fries.
Sondra, the token picky eater of the crew, ordered a simple side of eggs and cheese for her main course. Her eggs were cooked properly and she was satisfied with the cheese, but ended up ordering a side of those tasty fries since the eggs alone were pretty small.
Brunch at Cow & Clover covered all of the bases. We were well fueled for a day of putzing around Brooklyn, well served by the friendly waitstaff, and had some quality time together catching up on the latest news. Even after we settled the bill, the servers gratuitously refilled our cocktail glasses and didn’t rush us out the door.
The Bitches say: B+. Well executed American brunch fare, seasonal ingredients, and a decent bottomless deal in a spacious prime Williamsburg location.
Cow & Clover
291 Kent Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11249
Cow & Clover serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.