My views about brunch have been well documented; while I definitely respect the institution, and the average brunch menu certainly offers quite a few delicious treats, there's pretty much nothing I can eat and therefore the prospect of brunch turns me into something of a curmudgeon. But sometimes, hypothetically, there may be people in one's life who have differing views from oneself, and sometimes those hypothetical people express a desire to do something that one wouldn't necessarily do on one's own, like, say, have brunch. And sometimes one likes that person enough to suck it up and do brunch.
And so it was, on a quiet, clear, sunny Labor Day morning, AV and I found ourselves at local French bistro Marseille, having brunch at a sidewalk table in the crisp morning air. The meal began with the brunch version of the bread basket, a small plate of sliced multigrain breads and tempting mini muffins, along with a triangle of butter and a ration of jam. AV was a huge fan of the mini muffins, and the tiny bite I had revealed a scrumptious, cakelike interior with all sorts of buttery deliciousness hidden inside. Mmmm.
Then for the main event: AV had been craving eggs benedict, and so eggs benedict were ordered. The plate came with a heaping handful of mesclun salad, which AV enjoyed; some home fries, which were average; and two english muffin halves topped with ham, egg, and hollandaise. AV termed it a satisfying brunch-- nothing was standout exceptional, but everything was a solid version of what it was supposed to be.
For my part, I had already eaten breakfast and lunch, so I joined the fray with a fruit salad. While at $7.95 this was almost absurdly pricey, I'll admit it was actually quite good. A base of pineapple and tiny mango dices was complemented with an array of fresh strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries. There was none of the underripe cantaloupe and honeydew filler that plagues most fruit salads, and all the fruit involved was ripe, sweet, and succulent. Truly well done.
And so it was that LWF&D did brunch. Was it the best brunch ever? Don't think so. Was it solid? Definitely. Dare I ask, was it... pleasant? Sheepishly, I admit it actually was-- it was nice to be sitting outside on a lovely morning, nibbling on a fruit salad and partaking in a quintessential Manhattan ritual. I wouldn't say I've become a believer, but sometimes a three Offset Spatula brunch is just the thing for a weekend morning.
630 Ninth Avenue at 44th Street