Even though I had just spent eight days in Las Vegas, I hopped on a train straight to New York shortly after my arrival back to D.C. Who needs to spend time in their brand-new condo? Not this girl. She’s too busy jet-setting.
I stumbled out of Penn Station at 10 a.m. on a Saturday morning and realized how silly I had been to get such an early train, as my best friend Shellie had not even surfaced from her sister’s Brooklyn apartment yet.
Ah, well, I thought. There is plenty to amuse me here, and I hopped in a cab to the Met to see the Schiaparelli and Prada exhibit, which was stunning and inspiring: fashion pairings as art. Conversations between two Italian old ladies as art. Brilliant!
Shellie met me at the Met, but she was starved, so we cabbed uptown about ten blocks to Sarabeth’s Kitchen, a little café and bakery that I had been to only once before, but had frequently been recommended to me over and over in the course of my Bitching.
The line to the hostess stand was long, and the space was packed in the entrance area next to the jam bar, but people were jostling for space and some time with the hostess to plead their case. “Table for two” went over rather easy with her, and we were seated within about 25 minutes at a lovely little table crammed in between tons of other lovely little tables.
The restaurant is charming, with high ceilings and yellow painted walls. There’s lots of flowers and homey accents, making you feel like you’re sitting in your mother’s Hamptons cottage for a summer dinner, but you’re actually in Manhattan.
Sarabeth’s is actually quite an institution in New York. It started as a bakery and jam shop in the Upper West Side, and has since grown to several beautiful restaurants in multiple locations. Regardless, this location still felt like a family-run independent establishment.
To start we ordered mimosas, of which there were many to choose from. The great thing about the mimosas is they bring the flavor in a separate glass along with a mini bottle of champagne, so you can mix it how you please. Also, there’s a strawberry on the top of each glass. Perfection, as I prefer my champagne with just a drop of orange and a strawberry.
We both ordered J. Roget Mimosas. I had mine with orange, of course. But you can get it with cranberry, four flowers, or mango. Shellie had the four flowers, which was red and sweet like a Kir Royale. Also, they serve fresh Bellinis and pickled house Bloody Marys, and the Mayrs at the table next to us looked extremely impressive (read: rather enormous).
The menu is gorgeous, and offers everything from cereals to oatmeal (Baby Bear, Mama Bear, Papa Bear, and Big Bad Wolf porridge—how cute!). The eggs section is titled “Extraordinary Eggs & Omelettes” leaving nothing to be discussed. There’s even sweet breakfast options, such as pancakes and French toast.
Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (just in case you’re an early bird or a late riser), but from 11 a.m. onwards you can get “lunch extras” as well, such as Sara’s famous market soups, salads or sandwiches.
I, of course, went for the classic Eggs Benedict. And from now on I will hold all other eggs benedicts to Sara’s standard.
The enormous, nearly-bursting poached eggs were set atop a thick, round-cut slice of Canadian smoked ham, which was set atop a thick, round muffin. It was as if the entire thing was formed in a cookie cutter, it was so perfect and round.
Plus, it tasted delicious. The Hollandaise had a lovely kick, the eggs cooked to perfection, the ham plenty thick and tasty, and the spongy muffin soaked in all of it.
On the side, a bit of greens, which was great. I also ordered the fresh chicken apple breakfast sausage, which was tasty, juicy and set atop a bit of apple sauce, which made for perfect dipping.
Shellie got the Red Omelette, which was another enormous display of perfectly rounded eggs. It had a chunky filling of red peppers and tomatoes, with cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and chives on top.
On the side, she had a choice of muffin (oh, the choices: English, corn, bran, banana, pumpkin, berry corn), croissant, scone or toast. She chose the bran muffin, which was served with Sara’s famous preserves.
We were stuffed, happy, and satisfied. We left, nipped to a wine shop, bought a bottle of Prosecco and sat in Central Park enjoying New York’s sun and our post-brunch bliss.
The Bitches say: A+ Worth the wait to try this New York brunch staple.
There are multiple locations (one, even, in Key West!) but I went to Sarabeth’s East.
1295 Madison Ave. (92nd Street)
New York, NY 10128
Sarabeth’s serves brunch Saturdays and Sundays.