Searching for a nonchalant spot to take the special man in your life for brunch? Look no further. The Shakespeare is trading in avocado toast and Instagrammable decor for a traditional English Sunday roast and a rich, homey vibe.
A few of my friends have made it to New York by way of the UK, so I’ve had my fair share of Sunday roasts. The traditional meal dates back to the 1700s and typically consists of some sort of roasted meat, potato, veggies, and Yorkshire pudding– The Shakespeare was about as authentic as it gets.
The restaurant sits in multiple levels of the cozy William Hotel with the basement bar, an intricate upstairs formal dining room, speakeasy space, and the second floor terrace. Warm, welcoming staff and British knicknacks covering the place made our corner booth the perfect nook for a chilly afternoon meal.
One of my absolute favorite winter drinks is mulled cider, so when I saw the description written across the propped up chalkboard sign, I immediately knew what I was ordering. Perfectly spiced and accented with a peel of orange, this was some of the best cider I’ve had to date. Not to mention the splash of rum contributing an extra kick to the already scrumptious mug of goodness. My sweetheart opted for the classic brunch Bloody Mary, which he said was great– but truth is I think he was a bit jealous of mine.
The Shakespeare served the traditional meal family style, but each of us was able to select our own meat. My beau instantly gravitated towards the beef, and I selected the roast pork. He raved on and on about how great the beef tasted, but the pork lacked flavor other than when drowned in gravy.
As for the sides, we were delivered piping dishes of potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, and mixed vegetables. Neither of us particularly care for carrots, so we devoured the broccoli and cauliflower that remained– both were cooked a bit al dente for my liking. The roasted potatoes were classic and tasted good, and the Yorkshire pudding was a nice surprise with its buttery, flaky texture.
When attending The Shakespeare’s Sunday roast, we also had the option to share the dessert of the day. This weekend’s specialty was a slice of pumpkin pie that reminded us of home. The slice tasted like it was made with real pumpkin (major points!) and was uniquely topped with a light, unwhipped vanilla bean creme.
It’s so hard not to get lost in conversation at The Shakespeare. The homey space had us chatting about everything from the holidays to the decor in what seemed like just a few minutes.
The Bitches say: B. Although the traditional English Sunday roast may not be robust with flavor, The Shakespeare’s version was tasty and the cozy, welcoming environment makes for a no frills brunch perfect for the men in your life.
24 E 39th St.
New York, NY 10016
The Shakespeare serves their traditional Sunday Roast from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. every Sunday.