Dear Brunch Gang: Brunch date to impress
Dear Brunch Gang,
My girlfriend, who lives out of town, is coming up to visit me soon. I want to take her out for a great NYC brunch. Any recommendations for a romantic date spot that’ll help me score some brownie points with the lady?
Brunching to Impress
Dear Brunching to Impress,
What a nice boyfriend you are! Brunch has a way of scaring away the men sometimes, so taking your girl out for a lovely brunch is a great way to show her how much you care. We’ve got some places that are sure to make her brunch experience a great one.
Atmosphere is key when looking for a place that’s a bit more romantic than your average brunch spot. Tom Colicchio’s Riverpark fits the bill. Located along the East River, Riverpark has beautiful views and a sophisticated indoor dining area, but what sets it apart is the option to dine on the outdoor patio. With the wind in your hair and the river in your sights, brunch is a different experience at Riverpark. And it’s not just the ambiance that’ll have you brunching with a smile. The restaurant has its own on-site produce garden, where ingredients for the New American dishes are picked. Farm-to-table at its best!
Wine bars are also great locales for a quiet, more low-key brunch date. One thing is for certain: You’ll have lots of beverage options at a wine bar! We’ve recently been to In Vino in the East Village and Uva Wine Bar (review coming soon) on the Upper East Side. When you’re at In Vino, you feel like you’re brunching in a wine cellar, and Uva has a great outdoor area (heated and covered during the fall) reminiscent of an Italian café. With affordable dishes — both sweet and savory — another well-received wine bar is Riposo 46, which has locations in Hell’s Kitchen and the Upper West Side.
Nothing gets a girl more excited than dining at the same places as her favorite celebs. The stars are spotted eating all over NYC, and brunch is no exception! Follow in the footsteps of powerhouse couple Beyonce and Jay-Z and get your brunch on at Locanda Verde, a trendy Tribeca spot. Isabella’s on the Upper West Side is another well-known brunch joint that gets rave reviews and plenty of visits from celebs. Not only was Bono spotted brunching there, but “Curb Your Enthusiasm” shot a scene there this past season. Popular brunch restaurant Balthazar is another place that your girlfriend might enjoy. Claire Danes was seen eating brunch at this SoHo brasserie just a few months ago.
We couldn’t finish this list without mentioning one of our favorite brunch spots in the city, Calle Ocho. The Cuban haunt on the Upper West Side has fantastic food, delicious sangria and a fun vibe. We were impressed with its new location in the Excelsior Hotel, and I’m sure your lady will be, too!
You da man!