The week that predated our brunch at The Chester was beyond busy. For starters, we were getting married in seven days. We had Paul’s entire family in from New Zealand and England. We were celebrating my brother-in-law’s birthday. And I was trying to squeeze in a city brunch with 12 people before I disappeared for our wedding. #yikes
Thank goodness for the folks at The Chester, who not only accommodated our whole party with no problems, but also let us span two picnic tables outside so we could be more comfortable. Housed in the trendy Gansevoort Hotel in Meatpacking, the location was perfect for our out-of-town guests.
We were the only ones at the restaurant, which we thought was a little odd for our 12:30 brunch time, but learned upon exit that the DJ didn’t start spinning until closer to 3 p.m. We may have missed the brunch party, but we made our own in the cool outdoor space we took over during our meal. Bear with me, as we conceivably ordered every single thing on the brunch menu!
We shared the avocado toast with red onion, and chili flakes on whole wheat five-grain to start, which was delicious. Although it’s difficult to screw up avocado toast, we liked the addition of red onion and the kick from the chili.
We also shared the salmon tartare, normally a dinner item, served with avocado, scallion, ginger, and citrus soy. This had great flavor and a nice presentation.
For entrees, Paul ordered the steak and eggs, a dish he can’t resist on a menu. Served with sunny-side up eggs, salsa verde, and home fries, he really enjoyed this. Especially the home fries, which I kept stealing despite having a plate of my own. The tangy salsa was a nice addition to the bite.
I ordered the eggs Benedict with charred sausage, avocado, and buttermilk biscuit. The biscuit was calling my name, and it lived up to my expectations. As far as a Benny goes, this was oversize in portion, making it perfect for sharing. The Benedict sauce was really well done and I’m a sucker for avocado with my eggs.
Jamie ordered the B.E.C., which was massive, and served with sriracha aioli on focaccia bread. I’ve never seen Jamie not finish his entire plate, but he left half! It was good but we thought the foccacia was slightly overpowering because of its size. This is a great order for someone who’s starving.
A few folks ordered the classic burger made with hanger grind, American cheese, green leaf, plum tomato, Russian sauce, and served on a potato roll with french fries. The burger wasn’t a fan favorite — Joanne couldn’t tell if the burger was juicy or greasy. Another person in our group got the burger and loved it, so I’m sensing an inconsistency in the kitchen or in our tastebuds. Regardless, it was slightly overpriced at $19.
Paul’s grandmother, visiting from England, couldn’t resist the fish and chips sandwich, served on a challah bun. She liked the sandwich spin on her traditional local staple but said the fish was dry.
My mother-in-law kept it light and ordered the four grain salad with quinoa, farro, barley, wild rice, arugula, strawberries, goat cheese, and mustard-citrus vinaigrette. She loved this; it was light, dressed well, and the goat cheese wasn’t overbearing. I had order envy.
Unfortunately, we finished our brunch right when the DJ started setting up, so we missed the afternoon vibe. But, at no point did we feel rushed despite taking up two tables, and the restaurant was very accommodating.
The Bitches say: B. The Chester offered a reliable, elevated bar brunch in a fun beer garden space with the promise of a party for later brunchgoers.
18 Ninth Avenue
The Chester serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 7 a.m.