Shruti and I are a new brunch item. Given our transitions from Washington to New York and our shared desire to make the most of Manhattan, we make a great team. We’ll meet up for brunch, an art exhibit, or a show—whether it’s a movie or a play. We were both around the Sunday after Thanksgiving and decided to meet for brunch in the West Village.
Shruti suggested Sotto 13 because some of her friends had raved about it. The restaurant is a great place for birthday celebrations, as they have group options for brunch and for dinner.
Brunch items are available to order à la carte, and the deal is a good one: one wood-fired pizza, two entrees, a side, and a carafe of brunch cocktails, shared by the table, for $35 a person. Like most good deals, there’s a hitch: Everyone at the table must commit to the social brunch. Seems fair.
We mutually agreed on a carafe of hibiscus mimosas, a cocktail that turned out to be as light and flavorful as it was bubbly. A solid start to the rest of our meal. Sotto 13 also offers a “craft your own cocktail prosecco bar” for $25, which is made to share. The cocktail kit includes seasonal fruit purées, liquors, garnishes, and a bottle of prosecco.
As Shruti is a vegetarian and I am Paleo and very gluten-averse, we had a bit of trouble finding a compromise. I let her choose the pizza, as I did not plan to indulge. There is gluten-free crust available for an extra $2, but I thought she should actually enjoy her pizza. (Gluten-free is just never as good.) She went with the classic caprese. The pizza was a bit oilier than we anticipated but hit the spot.
Other tempting pizza options were the mushroom pizza with ricotta truffle oil, and the Parma, with prosciutto, mozzarella, tomato, parmesan, and arugula. The pizzas are hand-tossed and fired in a wood-burning open that you stroll by on your way to the table.
For our entrees, we decided on the Eggs Benedict and the French toast, which are both necessary when you review brunch. Plus, the table next to ours had ordered both, and the dishes looked incredible.
The Eggs Benny were all mine—classic Eggs Benedicts with Canadian ham, poached eggs, and hollandaise on focaccia bread. The Eggs were poached beautifully, and the hollandaise was incredible—the classic creamy, eggy Hollandaise with a great hint of lemon. After polishing off the Eggs and ham, I proceeded to dip the potatoes in the Hollandaise.
Your choices for sides are applewood smoked bacon, potatoes, and a pea shoot focaccia. Given our meat and gluten-aversions, we went with the potatoes—and we both love potatoes. I was quietly bummed to be missing out on bacon, but these potatoes wound up being an absolute home run.
I’d avoided the dreaded gluten binge, which is followed by a hangover and a nap, but the French toast focaccia proved too good to pass up. The dense French toast was a brown butter and rosemary focaccia topped with a vanilla creme fraiche and syrup. It was incredible.
The Bitches say: B+. The space is chic, the service is good, and the brunch deal is strong. The food is solidly good—but nothing exceptional.
140 W 13th St.
New York, NY 10011
Sotto 13 serves brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.