Last week, I woke up and my neck was thrown out, which meant that for two miserable days I was lethargic from muscle relaxers and stiff from an unsightly brace. I’m still in denial that I’m even joining the group of people that can say they threw out their X body part over the weekend.
This whole situation resulted in one big pity party, having been forced to cancel my weekend travel and face my insurmountable pile of to-dos. So, naturally, instead of waking up and seizing the day, I escaped to Brooklyn for brunch!
Colonie has been on my list for a while, due to both its great location in Brooklyn Heights and its interior herb garden wall that’s been featured in many a foodie pub. I was determined to bring my friend Sarah out to my favorite borough and have a full girls day of fun.
We stepped in and I breathed an immediate sigh of relief. The front of house/potentially the owner/casual Brooklynite who could have been a diner himself met us with a big inviting smile at the door, walked us back to the dining area, and sat us at the best seat in the house. We were off to a good start.
Colonie’s setup is awesome, as the kitchen is completely open and offers seats at an open bar that gives you a full view into the making of your food. The chefs smile and acknowledge your presence, and I liked that they were part of the brunch experience versus being in the ‘back of the house’.
The back room is floor to ceiling brick, but has amazing corner windows that open up to greenery and make you feel like you’re in a secret garden. The openness of the bar and the indoor green wall reverted me to an outdoor restaurant somewhere else. The ambiance was exceptional.
I wasn’t hungover and didn’t really have an excuse to order as much as I did, but sometimes girls days need to be indulgent. I was going to order a latte but was told there were no espresso drinks, which would normally be a deal breaker but I forgot as soon as I took my first bite of food. Plus, they had French press coffee and house made iced tea served with a side of simple syrup as natural sweetener. Tough to be grumpy with that!
We started with the monkey bread, which I was expecting to be a small slice, as many sweet sides are. I was astonished when the heaping mound of pastry that the chef was adorning with pecans and caramel sauce was delivered to our corner of the bar. It was so big we couldn’t finish it, which was a crime because it was so delicious, but it really should have been our dessert.
We ordered the asparagus and mushroom scramble, which was served with a refreshing side salad and house made sausage. I don’t usually put asparagus in my eggs and I liked the variety in taste, but it was normal and the mushroom flavor didn’t come through as I’d hoped. The sausage side, however, was special. It was deliciously spicy and resembled a mini burger patty.
My favorite entree was the biscuit Benedict, featuring a crispy house made biscuit, smoked ham, poached egg, and a unique, creamy Hollandaise. Other Benedict renditions tend to use softer biscuits, and I really loved the texture of this crispier version with the softness of the egg.
For dessert, since the monkey bread obviously didn’t count, we ordered the buttermilk pancakes with whipped creme fraiche and blueberry syrup. I was shocked by the size of the pancakes- they were triple the density of a normal pancake, but just as fluffy. They almost looked like cornbreads with the amount they’d risen, which I thought was pretty cool, because it totally saturated the fresh blueberry syrup, turning the interior blue. I wish I’d been more hungry, yet I still managed to eat one pancake lathered in the delicious creme fraiche. In fact, this dish solidified that I can no longer eat pancakes without creme fraiche going forward..it’s just too good.
Throughout the meal, our server was attentive and extremely helpful, constantly checking on us without being overbearing. In a city of restaurants that are constantly shooing you out the door, I appreciated having to ask for the check after our leisurely meal.
The Bitches say A. Go here for a wonderful brunch at a true food pioneer of the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood. Emphasizing seasonal produce and local purveyors, you’ll feel right at home in the comfort of Colonie.
127 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY
(718) 855 – 7500
Colonie serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.