Place: Hotel Chantelle
Neighborhood: Lower East Side, 92 Ludlow St. (between Broome St. & Delancey St.)
The scoop: Hotel Chantelle started serving brunch this May, and the Brunch Gang was invited to check out the scene (special thanks for Lauren at BWR Public Relations for the invite!). Based on the tacky neon lights that read “Hotel Chantelle,” and the plain and dark exterior of the building, we wouldn’t randomly walk into this place, and we would never know it has a lovely rooftop.
We lucked out with the weather because it wasn’t too hot, and it was perfect for rooftop brunching. Although there are a couple of umbrellas, there isn’t much shade so you would most likely feel uncomfortable on an excruciatingly hot day. Some of the tables were so close together, it felt like we were sitting with the parties near us. One side of the table was set up almost like a booth, so when Victoria needed to use the restroom, she had to ask other customers to stand up so she could pass. We feel like there has to be a better way to set this up. On the other hand, the tables were glass, and we liked that underneath the glass were flowers and greenery. There were lamp posts scattered on the rooftop as well. We really enjoyed the jazz band that played during brunch. They sounded and looked the part. Also, the music was at an ideal volume. With the music and decor, Hotel Chantelle’s rooftop felt very old New York. It would be a good spot for a brunch date.
The brunch menu is limited to crêpes. It’s a cool idea that they are trying to make crêpes their brunch specialty, but we feel that there should be more options on the menu. For instance, there were only three savory crêpes that we would classify as a meal, and the other three were sweet crêpes — more like dessert.
The service was good. We met the restaurant manager, who was very nice and accommodating.
Hotel Chantelle’s brunch special is $17 for a crêpe and brunch cocktail. The cost per drink is a very reasonable $6.
The mint julep was extremely strong. The bourbon overpowered the sugar and the mint, and it was pretty difficult for me to enjoy since I am not a huge bourbon fan. If you are not a fan of hard liquor, you probably won’t enjoy this drink.
South of Delancey
If you like sweet tea vodka, you would love Hotel Chantellle’s South of Delancey. Not only was it deliciously sweet, it was very strong.
This mimosa was pretty good. With a nice balance of orange juice and champagne, I liked the drink. However, I was surprised that the mimosa was served in a champagne coupe/champagne saucer. I know this is a traditional champagne glass, but usually, mimosas are served in flutes or wine glasses. Even though a $6 mimosa is usually a good deal at brunch, I would have been disappointed had I paid per drink and saw the cocktail came in such a small glass.
Chew on this:
Maine Lobster $17 / Vanilla-infused cauliflower puree, fava beans, radish, opal basil, ruby grapefruit vinaigrette
Based on the presentation and lack of greens, I wouldn’t classify this as a salad. It reminded me more of an appetizer, but it was delicious and perfect for sharing. The dish was flavorful, and the lobster was tasty and easy to eat. Instead of a vinaigrette, there were a couple of grapefruit pieces on the plate. The beans went well with the lobster. Everything in this dish complemented each other, and I would recommend ordering it to share.
Saumon Fumé $13 / Asparagus, fresh dill, lemon crème fraiche
I wasn’t in the cheese mood, and the salmon crêpe was the only brunchy crêpe that didn’t contain cheese. Also, I love smoked salmon, so this dish didn’t seem like a bad option. All the ingredients in the crêpe were fresh. There was a decent amount of smoked salmon in the middle, and the crisp asparagus and the slight taste from the lemon crème added the perfect flavor. Everything tasted good, and I had no complaints.
Crêpe Omlette $13 / With ham, eggs, gruyere cheese
I wanted a substanial crêpe that would hold me over for some time, so I went with the crêpe that included ham. The crêpe had equal parts of ham, eggs and gruyere cheese. You can’t really go wrong with that combination. Since the crêpe contained eggs, it was one of the only true breakast dishes at Hotel Chantelle. Normally, I don’t appreciate when a dish has sauce on it, and there is no mention of the sauce on the menu. Luckily, after trying it, I didn’t mind the sauce that was on top of my crêpe. The flat hashbrown was good, but a bit cold. I would have liked if more greens were included in the dish. Overall, the crêpe was good, but I wasn’t impressed with the sides.
La Banane $13 / Hazelnuts, nutella, acacia honey crème fraîche
We wanted a dessert crêpe, and the banana one sounded the best to both of us. Unfortunately, we weren’t impressed with the crêpe. It was folded over many times, and only the first layer of the fold contained a few pieces of banana. The Nutella was very watery because it was mixed with the crème fraîche. We would have preferred they didn’t mix the Nutella and served it right out of the container. It did not satisfy our sweet tooth, and if we ordered this as our entrée, we would have been disappointed.
The final bite: If it’s a nice day, you can’t go wrong with the beautiful rooftop at Hotel Chantelle. We recommend checking out the brunch menu before committing because you may not see something that will satisfy you.
Reviewed by: Stephanie and Victoria