It’s hard to find a more charming spot than Epistrophy, or neighborhood than Nolita. I was first taken by Epistrophy nearly five years ago, when I was asked on a first date at the cute café, bar, and restaurant in Nolita. With its sexy Latin American jazz band, low lighting, and killer cocktails, Epistrophy makes for a great date night.
It was Epistrophy that established Nolita as my favorite neighborhood in New York—charming, gritty, filled with cute restaurants and bars, and in close proximity to the shopping. When I realized none of our New York editors had reviewed brunch, I took it upon myself to head there on a Friday, as this cozy wine bar serves breakfast 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.
The unassuming Epistrophy sits on Mott Street with a bright green exterior and floor-to-ceiling windows that let in gorgeous light. There’s patio seating, which I have enjoyed several times before despite living in Washington.
Inside, the aesthetic is mismatched and vintage. There’s a beautiful white tile ceiling, and a marble, retro bar in the center of the space that’s lined with classic wooden bistro stools. The seating is diverse: there are cozy velvet couches to the left, and large communal wooden tables in the center of the space, as well as Carrara marble two tops worthy of your Instagram game.
When I arrived, Shruti was already sippin’ on what appeared to be a spritz, which happens to be my signature order. In reality, it was a rosé spritz, which means it involved sparkling rosé, soda and Aperol of course. The colors were beautiful and bright just like the weather outside. So, I placed my standard order for a classic spritz. Served in tall tumblers, this cocktails were well executed and lovely.
We began with the gluten-free chocolate chip banana bread and the burrata—an odd pairing but excellent choices nonetheless. The gluten-free chocolate chip banana bread was beautifully plated, sitting at the center of a round, navy blue plate decorated with berries. This sounds silly, but the last gluten-free pastry I had at brunch was delicious, but awkwardly slopped on a plate and looking lame at Cookshop.
The burrata was mind-blowing—just an incredible quality cheese, served atop thin slices of rainbow beets. We’ve eaten a lot of burrata across the U.S. and Europe and I have to say this was a top notch dairy product. It was a fresh, shareable starter.
Shruti was mad for the butternut squash toast, a welcome change from avocado toast. The toast was topped with butternut squash, goat cheese, caramelized onions, and garnished with pistachio crumbles and fresh mint. The combination of flavors was unbelievable. The toast even had a little kick to it and tasted oh so fresh.
I was similarly impressed by the zucchini fritters: mashed avocado layered between two zucchini pancakes and topped with a sunnyside up egg. It was plated simply and beautifully on a lovely navy plate. The dish was satisfying yet healthy: the zucchini fritters were impossibly fluffy—a rich sort of decadent fluffiness that you find in the perfect pancake. The avocado mash had plenty of flavor, and the egg was the perfect consistency of both runny and solid yolk. This was a truly satisfying brunch dish.
We ordered the berries and yogurt as a side. A rich, sweet Greek yogurt served with granola, chia seeds, and Sardinian nougat, which added some sweetness and crunch. The serving was large and easy to share.
Lastly, we shared the lemon ricotta pancakes. The golden stacks were dusted with powdered sugar and topped with an assortment of berries, bananas, and whipped ricotta. The lemon and citrus notes were not at all subtle which only added to the appeal. The pancakes were a lovely conclusion to a wonderful brunch.
The Bitches say: A+ for great vibes, lovely décor and service, and incredible, diverse brunch fare. Extra credit for providing a great weekday brunch option.
Epistrophy serves brunch daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.