The city was swarming with New Yorkers on the naughty list on Saturday. I dodged a teetering Mrs. Claus, a gaggle of elves dragging a keg, and several groups of makeup-clad Santas with open champagne bottles, all before my morning coffee. By the time I walked to brunch, I was a needle in a haystack of swaying Santas.
Needless to say, I was incredibly thankful to be meeting my friend Michelle at GG’s in the East Village instead of participating in Santacon for a third year.
Just because I wasn’t a Santa didn’t mean we weren’t allowed to booze, and our eyes were immediately stuck on standout cocktails like the Green Mary, GG’s kale version of a Bloody. We ended up settling on mimosas, which were standard but delicious.
Dark green paneled comfortable booths were juxtaposed against white detailed walls and a unique arch-shaped ceiling. The mostly white interior brightened up the atmosphere and light cascaded through the cozy restaurant, making it a perfect place for cheery morning brunch.
Michelle and I started our meal with caramelized grapefruit with palm sugar and mint. I’m not typically a grapefruit person because of the tart aftertaste, but this grapefruit was an exception. It was served charred on top, adding a nice subtle burnt flavor which rounded out the usual tartness.
Next up was the eggs Benedict with a brown butter hollandaise, jamon, and pesto. This was a lighter version than the usual because it was served with flat bread. Though there was a decent amount of pesto, the flavor was a little lost on me. I thought this dish was good, but not a standout.
The La Prima breakfast pizza was the star of the show. Large enough to feed an army (or in this case, a ravenous Michelle and Emily party of two), this pizza was just what we needed. GG’s is known for its pizzas cooked in a large double sized oven, and this breakfast version didn’t disappoint. The pizza was served with Italian breakfast sausage, egg, and mozzarella, and came with a side of house made ricotta for crust dipping. We polished off the whole pizza with no shame, but very full stomachs.
We ended up staying at GG’s for two hours, savoring our multiple mimosas and any last remnants of pizza crust. Our server was friendly and accommodating and we could have easily stayed another hour without feeling the least bit rushed.
The Bitches say B+: The atmosphere was great, the vibe was relaxed, the booze was flowing, and we thoroughly enjoyed the food. I consider GG’s to be a hidden gem in the East Village and I suggest you go before word starts spreading.
511 East 5th St.
GG’s serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m.