One major lesson that I’ve learned from Olivia Pope is that nothing brings people together like a crisis.
This rings true for one of my best Bitches, Jaime. We initially bonded while working together on strenuous crisis campaigns at a PR agency in D.C. We served as each other’s alarm clock on the weekends to ensure we were both awake for our 6:30 a.m. monitoring reports, and we celebrated over vodka sodas in Logan Circle once crises were averted. I knew we would be fast friends.
Fast-forward a few years. Now that we’ve both made the jump from the District to the Big Apple with new apartments and new jobs, we’re still as close as ever. We recently gathered with a group of our friends, including many other D.C. expats, to celebrate Jaime’s birthday with a boozy brunch. Jaime and I aren’t strangers to bottomless deals (see Poco, Il Bastardo), but we wanted to try somewhere new to get our “day sway” on.
We decided to dine at Tre because it met all of our criteria: a trendy downtown location in the Lower East Side; an extremely affordable $22.95 bottomless deal; and an ability to accommodate our large party of 10 with only a few days’ notice.
Like most real estate in this hot neighborhood, the restaurant was narrow and small so we slowly navigated around boisterous tables of intoxicated twenty-somethings to find our seating in the back. Clearly other people had received the memo about the cheap bottomless special and had a head start on our group. We crammed around a table near the door to the garden and immediately were poured mimosas from carafes. The mimosas were pretty boozy and served quickly all afternoon, which was appreciated.
Tre’s brunch menu contains a variety of Italian classics and familiar American dishes, and one entrée is included with the $22.95 deal. One important note: Tre is cash only.
There isn’t a veggie that I don’t like, so the frittata with broccoli rabe, sausage, and Parmigiano was an easy choice. The eggs were stuffed with filling, and the frittata was perfectly light and fluffy. I also enjoyed the inclusion of greens atop the frittata, since the dressing added flavor and moisture to the dish.
Andrea and Andrew both tried the Tre burger and agreed that the greasy entrée hit the spot after a long Friday night. We Bitches like choices, so we loved that Tre offers a variety of toppings options for the burger, including bacon, Gorgonzola, goat cheese, and caramelized onions. Andrea thought the large pat of goat cheese perfectly accompanied the juicy burger. Her one qualm was the dish was a bit bread-heavy and overpowered by the sizable brioche bun.
After picking at her mixed salad with chicken, which was good but nothing to write home about, Jen declared, “Thank god I sat next to someone with French fries.” We were all nibbling at the burger eaters’ crispy, salty French fries the entire meal and were gracious that they were generous enough to share.
Dave ventured the Italian route and ordered the Fusilli Napoletani with broccoli rabe, sweet sausage, and Parmigiano, similarly to my frittata. The pasta was served perfectly al dente and the sausage curbed his large appetite.
Mike’s classic omelet with spinach, Swiss cheese, and ham was standard and he found it “uninspired.” This would be a safe dish for picky eaters.
Natalia went out on a limb and tried the most interesting item on the brunch menu—Uova del Ranch. This Mexican-inspired dish seemed a bit out of place on a primarily Italian menu, but to its credit it did contain smoked mozzarella. Natalia struggled to mix the eggs, salsa, and mozzarella together in the tortilla as she ate it, but overall enjoyed the combination of flavors.
The bottomless deal at Tre is capped at 90 minutes, but we were never pressured to leave once we exceeded the 90-minute mark. We casually polished off a few more carafes of mimosas while singing along to the laid-back reggae soundtrack and swapping stories about Jaime—it was her birthday brunch, after all.
The Bitches say: B+. The food was tasty compared to lackluster entrees at similarly low-priced boozy brunches, and the ambiance was lively yet relaxed. We’d love to return in the summer to brunch in the garden!
173 Ludlow St.
New York, NY 10002
(Lower East Side)
Tre serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays beginning at 12 p.m.