Last weekend, I finished the Brooklyn Half Marathon, showered up, and limped my way to the Gansevoort Park Hotel for an invitation to a rooftop party brunch.
It was 2:30 p.m. and my friend Michelle and I had high hopes for a fun environment to celebrate my 13.1.
When we walked up to the roof, the entire place was empty. I initially thought, in my dehydration, that I’d shown up at the wrong party. The bartenders were a tired group, and one actually asked me if they were open.
I had the same question for the staff, who shrugged and told us we could have our pick of the tables and that the DJ would be arriving any minute. What baffled me about all of this is that it was widely known I was there as press for a brunch review. We were invited!
The roof seemed unfazed. I checked the website and saw the advertised 1 p.m. open, so it wasn’t like we were there early.
I was happy to have patient brunch company, or I would have been a little embarrassed to lead a friend to such a quiet party.
The roof itself was nice. Long rows of cushioned benches, circular tables, bulb lighting, and artificial grass accents decorated our surroundings. It was a comfortable place to have an afternoon outdoors.
The DJ didn’t arrive for another hour, so the bartender plugged in his iPhone for some tunes while we ordered. A few randoms showed up alone over the course of that hour, but they all seemed to be friends with the staff or the DJ. There also appeared to be a flaw in the technology, because the DJ didn’t start actually spinning until 4.
During our sleepy club brunch, we ordered rounds of cocktails, served with grapefruit, vodka and fresh mint. They were fresh and delicious, and we kept those coming. Michelle also threw in a mojito, which was ok.
For food, Michelle and I split the French toast first, which was served with two large pieces of bread, powdered sugar, fruit, and a side of whipped Mascarpone Cream, which was almost like regular whipped cream. This was actually pretty great for French toast, but standard, other than the Mascarpone.
We also shared the Eggs Benedict, served on a cheddar bacon biscuit with a side of home fries, which was standard. The biscuit was a little dry but my body was craving bacon and home fries, so it satisfied.
Because we were sparing no calories, we also ordered the chicken poppers, which were miniature sliders with fried chicken slathered in buffalo dressing. I never normally order bar food like this, but it really hit the spot.
All of a sudden at 4, one very large group of dressed-up club-goers arrived, making a large section of of the roof full. Unfortunately for us, they were all smoking cigarettes with their mimosas, an unwelcome smell that wafted over to our table, ruining the remainder of my meal. Rooftop or not, if you’re serving food, there should be a designated smoking area that is nowhere near the dining tables.
The party brunch became something resembling a party closer to pre-dinner time. I get that people who are hungover in the city tend to eat later, but no one I know is starting brunch at 4 P.M.
Our waiter hadn’t returned to refill our drinks in quite some time, nor did he clear our brunch plates. We took this as a sign to leave. No one seemed remotely bothered by whether we were enjoying ourselves or whether we were satiated.
The Bitches say: D+. The food and cocktails weren’t bad, but the party brunch was lacking its party. It should be remarketed as something else so people don’t visit during normal brunch hours under the false pretense of a clubby environment. There is hope if they get their ducks in a row; this place does offer potential for fun.
Gansevoort Park Avenue
420 Park Ave S
Gansevoort Park serves brunch on Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.