This weekend, one of my closest friends was visiting New York to celebrate her birthday. Christina and I grew up together, and while we may have moved on from sand castles to a shared love for cosmos, our get togethers are just as fun as the nights we spent choreographing synchronized Dream dances.
After a blistering walk through the East Village, we decided Saxon + Parole had the perfect menu (and Bloody bar) for celebrating. I’m a big fan of their sister restaurant, Public, and had high hopes that this brunch would be an equal match. We were sat quickly despite our lack of reservations. The restaurant was pretty empty and the Bloody Mary bar sat untouched, but it was snowing and we were early so I won’t hold the quiet vibe against them.
Saxon and Parole’s decor is the common, clean brasserie feel that one would find in many New York City restaurants. Bulb lighting, weathered wood accents, a beautifully lit bar, and a hint of an equestrian theme carries through the restaurant, with pictures of race horses and farm blankets adorning walls.
We settled into the back room and dove right into the all-American menu, attempting to squash Christina’s birthday hangover with a heavy brunch. After securing our necessary caffeine fix in the form of lattes and teas, we moved on to the expansive Bloody Mary bar, which rocked at least thirty DIY embellishments from hot sauce to pickle juice.
We quickly placed an order for the warm breakfast cinnamon sugar doughnuts served with vanilla cream, chocolate sauce, and passion fruit dipping sides. The sauces really enhanced the dish and we appreciated the variety and the generous portion.
Next, we ordered Saxon + Parole’s upgraded eggs Benny, served with Virginia surryano ham, crispy potato Parmesan cakes, poached eggs, and yuzu hollandaise. The Parmesan cakes added great flavor and the yuzu made this out of the ordinary. I have seen very close (if not the same) replications at other restaurants, but that didn’t make this dish any less of a standout. It was top notch.
Our third order was the baked eggs in a tomato, roasted pepper, and capers stew, topped with a melted three-cheese gratin. I didn’t know what to expect from this dish. Baked eggs can come in a variety of ways, most of which I don’t like, but our waiter totally sold us on this. The eggs were actually poached and then baked to get the crunchy cheese topping, and sat in a rich caper tomato stew. The side of toast was perfect for soaking up all of the extra juices.
Because all of that wasn’t enough for two people, we also ordered the French toast stuffed with banana and housemade Nutella. By the time it came out, we were excruciatingly full but that didn’t stop us from trying. This French toast looked (and tasted) like a banana Nutella sandwich and was way too rich for both of our liking. We couldn’t stomach much more than a bite.
The Bitches say: Four Champagne flutes. Brunch at Saxon + Parole is solid, and a definite must try for Bloody Mary lovers. Dishes were mostly well executed and tasty, but didn’t leave a permanent impression.
Saxon + Parole serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.