It's not every day that I get to spend exploring Manhattan with members of my family. Most of the time, visits with family involve me babysitting an overstuffed bag full of my dirty clothes on a train to Connecticut. (I've lugged a suitcase that weighs almost as much as I do to my father's house on multiple occasions in order to take full advantage of the free-to-me laundry facilities.) So, when my older brother agreed to come into New York, I immediately started researching brunch spots so I could share one of my favorite weekend activities with him.
I chose Il Bastardo in the heart of Chelsea because the brunch menu looked promising -- unlimited champagne, mimosas, screwdrivers, or Bloody Mary cocktails for an additional $15! -- and because we'd have a relatively short walk to stores should we decide to do some window shopping afterwards.
Do you see the size of that glass? Or, more importantly, do you see the size of that pour? Given that the price of just one mimosa at Il Bastardo is $12 (good luck finding the price of one drink on the menu... I had to ask our server for the information), $15 for unlimited drinks is a good bargain. Especially if you intend to drink throughout the entire course of your meal.
Since it was a special occasion, I did something I rarely do at brunch. I ordered the Eggs Benedict... or, more specifically, the Eggs Benedict with Maryland Crab Cakes ($12). My brother splurged a bit, too, and ordered the Steak and Eggs with Spinach ($15), the photo of which did not survive. (I trusted him to take a picture of his meal. Too bad I handed him the camera after he had downed most of his mimosa!)
Even though my meal looked rather nice sitting there on the plate, I was disappointed with it. The food was on the cold side when it came out of the kitchen, and the crab cake wasn't anything to "ooh" and "ahh" over. The cake had a sufficient amount of crab meat in it, but it had no flavor. And, there was only one crab cake on the plate! If you're going to advertise crab cakes, plural, then put more than one on the plate.
I don't think my brother had any major complaints about his meal judging by how quickly he inhaled it. Then again, he does have a tendency to hoover whatever's put in front of him (I say this with love, of course).... If I had to do it again, I'd decline the opportunity to be impulsive with my food choices in favor of ordering something more "me" (i.e. one of their frittatas), or I'd ignore the temptation to try someplace new in favor of making a reservation for a table at an old favorite.
Food aside, I had a ridiculously fun day with my brother and was even convinced to wait on line to go to the top of the Empire State Building. I hope he comes back to New York again soon!
191 7th Avenue
New York, NY 10011
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