I’ve had my fair share of wild party brunches over the past decade. Sadly, day drinking and I are synonymous, hence why I’ve put my skills into an awesome side hustle being a Bitch who brunches. A last-minute party brunch on a Sunday at Il Bastardo at 30 years old? Challenge accepted. The photographic evidence of my last brunch at the previous location four years ago was a lovely reminder of what was in store. Since Il Bastardo is now located on 27th Street between 10th and 11th avenue, this bodes well for yours truly, as I’m able to walk to brunch from my Hell’s Kitchen digs.
When it comes to party brunches, the company you are with is a key ingredient in your experience. My cousin Swati and her husband Sunny accompanied me for a boozy afternoon. There’s a bouncer and security outside and a coat check upon walking in. We immediately noticed a sea of women in LBDs and Louboutins dressed for a night out. For 2 p.m. on Sunday in January, I was widely mistaken for assuming a sweater and ankle boots would be appropriate for such a brunch.
We were promptly greeted by the general manager, Sherif, and seated immediately at a luxe booth. The new venue is a serious upgrade from the old Il Bastardo. With a dance floor, a disco ball, swanky seating, and crystal chandeliers, it was suddenly midnight on a Saturday in NYC. There was nothing to do but ditch the Sunday scaries and just go with it.
The $75 prix-fixe brunch includes a brunch item and bottle of your choice (mimosa, bellini, rosé, or champagne). There’s a plethora of brunch entrees available between a classic eggs Benny, a burger, omelets, gnocchi carbonara, chicken and waffles, and French toast. Steak and eggs, lobster mac and cheese, and other items are available for an additional $10. The price point seemed appropriate for the mature and older crowd that Il Bastardo draws.
Swati and I decided to get a bottle of bellinis each while Sunny chose champagne. To our surprise, bottles of Canella peach bellini arrived with long straws for drinking directly out of the bottle. While I usually prefer a fresh bellini compared to bottled, the bellini was still smooth for sipping. The champagne was as expected for a party brunch but nonetheless still necessary to consume.
The avocado toast was appropriately portioned with two pieces of toast, a side of home fries and a salad. Swati thought it was prepared well overall and enjoyed the flavorful greens and seasoned potatoes. The habanero pepper was the perfect touch to the poached egg on the avocado toast. The toast itself on multigrain bread was a bit overdone but didn’t take away from the item itself.
I went with the lemon ricotta pancakes. The golden stacks were pretty good and the citrus notes were nice and subtle. The mixed berries were super fresh, and the mint garnish was a wonderful addition to the fluffy pancakes. The syrup and whipped cream weren’t overwhelming either.
Sunny was torn between all of the options but eventually landed on a lobster eggs benedict. Beautifully fresh poached eggs and lobster meat sat on a field of greens above a toasted English muffin. The benedict was drizzled in a delicious hollandaise sauce and topped with caviar. Sunny thought the benedict was divine and enjoyed the home fries as well. For a guy, he was thrilled that the Benedict also filled him up.
At this point, we were totally feeling the vibe and indulged in a couple of green tea shots and danced to the Spice Girls. Every song the DJ played was totally on par with what we’re into. In true party form, bottle service and desserts are also available. We were graciously treated to a bottle of Moët and a grand tiramisu dessert complete with the sparklers and all.
The desserts at Il Bastardo are served family-style and made for sharing between six to eight people at $45. You have a choice between a variety of tiramisus, sundaes, and banana boats. Of course, the tiramisu was much too large for us and a bit difficult to dive into with a spoon—but it tasted exceptional. After a three-hour gluttonous meal, all that was left was to dance off the calories as we progressed into the evening. Let’s be serious, no one goes to a party brunch for the food. We were pleasantly surprised at the quality of our meals for a place that specializes in partying.
The Bitches Say: A for a true upscale party brunch that includes solid offerings and all of the key ingredients for a fun day party.
Il Bastardo serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 12 to 6 pm.
BitchBiz: This post was sponsored by Il Bastardo. Book your reservation here.