It’s that stunning time of year when a patio or garden is the only acceptable setting for a meal. New York is too beautiful right now, and until the dog days of summer I will be limiting my dining to outdoor spaces.
This includes brunch, even though it is at the hottest time of day. So my mandate stood when my dad and his girlfriend come to New York for a visit. They stayed at The Standard East Village, picked because it is within walking distance of my apartment.
I met them at the lobby door for brunch. “Where shall we go?” Papa Love asked. “Why not here?” I replied. The garden was beckoning through a double door on the side of the lobby.
Just to the side of the modern hotel is a beer garden that gets very busy and rowdy at night but is a calm oasis during the day. On this particular Sunday afternoon, was a breezy beautiful space filled with live art and solace.
All around the perimeter of the stunning, green garden were wet canvases drying, hanging on clothespins against the greenery. Portraits of the most interesting kind: women with snails on their heads, women morphing into sea creatures. And the artist was nearby, painting away.
We were relaxing, enjoying the breeze and the show. The service was slow, as if we were in a European café, which is only appropriate for The Standard; let’s be honest.
Once we finally got our menus, we ordered some snacks to share. The guacamole was served with tortilla chips in a brown paper bag. Adorable. None of us went for cocktails, though the cocktail menu was as substantial as the food menu. Just iced coffee for the hot day.
The menu is not actually brunch but lunch, and served every day. It’s a short menu, meant for “grazing,” it said. We didn’t mind the limited selection—the atmosphere was so chill, we could have lounged there all day. Along the side of the garden there’s a Pétanque court that stood empty.
We ordered a few bites from the menu, and we were very happy with our selections. The veggie flatbread, for my vegetarian dad, was stunning. Covered in greens, it was laden with sliced asparagus, mint and ricotta cheese.
The crispy calamari had just enough of a kick, and plenty of sauce of the side.
I ordered the spicy Italian sandwich, which was amazing on all counts, but almost too much for me to handle for a simple brunch—I didn’t finish it. The thick, fresh bread was filled with cured meats, provolone, and peppers. I ate half and saved half for later.
The chopped salad had chicken, apples, and sesame dressing. It was beautiful and refreshing, and we ended up sharing it. The perfect entrée for a light summer brunch.
Overall, it was not too much and not too little; and the garden setting was perfection. The breeze was perfect, and the live art gave our lunch an ambiance that could not be replicated.
The Bitches say: A. The lunch is standard perfection—as The Standard should be. Only the service was a bit slow.
The Standard East Village serves lunch (not brunch) every day of the week. (212) 475-5700