Sundays are for exploring new parts of the city, and beginning with brunch. Williamsburg is an obvious choice, given its great restaurants, cute shops, and highly instagrammable corners. It was with this in mind that I braved the cold weather and trekked from the Upper West Side to the Williamsburg Hotel. (Who am I kidding? I took a Lyft.) I was joined by my dear friend, Alana, and Shruti, our Marketing Bitch, cocktail coinesseur, and vegetarian bruncher.
The Williamsburg Hotel is a kitschy and stylish boutique hotel located right on Wythe Avenue. It’s difficult to miss, with its name written in vintage-style bright letters across the front of the building. You enter the hotel, and look down upon the bar and restaurant, Harvey, in a view that surely makes an impact.
Below, lies a bright, beautiful, and retro-space with brick walls, high ceilings, and a glamorous center bar with a rainbow overhang and green leather stools. There are massive, green velvet glamorous booths that line the space, and a vintage fireplace in one corner.
There was live musical entertainment—a musical duo of a guitar-and-harmonica player and a second guitarist. How very Brooklyn. The tunes were light and fun, adding to the experience immensely—but you could still hear each other talk. Well-executed brunch entertainment makes my heart happy.
You walk through brick archways into Harvey, a bright, white restaurant with bulbous light fixtures hanging from the ceiling. Harvey was buzzing this morning—it’s clearly a destination for events, as there was a lovely group of women hosting a bridal shower for 15 adjacent to our table.
This space could not be more perfect for a girls’ brunch.
We ordered hot beverages: an almond milk cappuccino for me, a latte for Shruti, and tea for Alana. The tea was served in the cutest, brightly colored pot. Alana loved it so much she asked where it was from and then bought it on her phone.
It was a Sunday—and a girl’s day—so I made it a cheat day and ordered all the croissants on the menu. Each lovely pastry came served on its own plate, with butter and strawberry jelly, rather than in a basket, which was surprising. The classic croissants were moist and buttery, and a lovely treat. We preferred the plain to the chocolate, oddly enough.
I ordered what I thought to be the most inventive dish on the brunch menu: the salmon with turmeric yogurt sauce. I’ve been on a bit of a health kick, and turmeric happens to be excellent for inflammation and general health benefits. The smoked salmon was served with a fired egg, avocado slices, crispy kale, lentils, and brown rice. Each component was clean and fresh and the bowl was drizzled with turmeric. It was absolutely delicious and I was pleased with my order.
At the waiter’s recommendation, Alana ordered the bacon tacos, which were served in an Asian style, with lots of slaw, on a wooden cutting board. She loved the presentation—and they were packed with flavor.
Meanwhile, Shruti, our resident vegetarian bruncher, ordered the avocado toast. She likes her toast to have chili flakes for flavor—and fortunately Harvey’s iteration of the brunch dish did just that. The smashed avo was topped with sliced chilis and served on a soft, fluffy multi-grain bread. It was plated with a simple side salad that was fresh and light.
Along with our entrees, we shared sides of bacon, potatoes, and mixed berries. The bacon was gorgeously thick and fatty slab bacon—a welcome change from the classic iteration. I was the only one eating it and I was happy not to share.
The bowl of berries was just dandy—blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries. They were sweet, but could have been a bit more fresh.
Lastly, the potatoes were an absolute home run. With no room for side plates, we shamelessly dug our forks, over and over again, into the massive bowl of perfectly crisp, hot and flavorful chunks of potatoes. They were simple and just so good.
The Bitches say: A- for a highly Instagrammable space, a convivial ambiance, and great service. The food was quite good, but not groundbreaking. It’s a great place for a girls’ brunch, groups, or the start of a weekend in Brooklyn.
Harvey at the Williamsburg Hotel serves brunch daily starting at 11:30 a.m.