Fans of this blog and carbohydrates will remember my near-perfect dining experience at PUBLIC in December, and my subsequent decision that kangaroos are more delicious than they are cute. My boyfriend and I had an incredible date night at PUBLIC, so I was especially delighted when AvroKo Hospitality Group, the fine restauranteurs behind my fabulous meal, invited me to try their other downtown spot, Saxon + Parole. I had been to the restaurant several years ago when it was still the Double Crown, but eagerly accepted their offer, enticed by the prospect of brunch and DIY Bloody Marys.
We arrived for brunch on a quiet and wonderfully warm Saturday afternoon and were greeted by an adorable hostess who’s cute glasses led me to the inevitable conclusion that I simply must purchase round tortoise-shell lenses
without a prescription. The decor had changed a bit since the Double Crown days, and the restaurant was more airy and relaxed, with a clear but not overwhelming equestrian theme.
[The inviting bar]
[The dining room. I’d like to imagine my fictional summer home in Maine or Southhampton decorated presicely like this, with white-washed brick walls, massive light fixtures, and small bursts of color]
To our great joy, we were seated next to the most unusual of brunch companions–two boys who looked around eleven, parent-less, sharing a giant bowl of ice cream. These were probably the trendiest tweens I had ever seen. I think they might have been Chuck Bass’s younger brothers. One of them wore a vest I am pretty sure I own. Refusing to be shown up by the Baby Basses, we immediately ordered two Bloody Mary’s. We were brought glasses filled with a generous proportion of vodka to Bloody Mary mix (I judge a good BM by it’s transparency, and these promised to leave me in a glorious mood for the rest of the afternoon) and escorted to the Make-Your-Own-Bloody-Mary bar.
[DIY Bloodies: Best idea ever. The bar was stocked with lemon and lime juice, a variety of spices and herbs, olives, peppers, miscellaneous pickled goods, celery stalks, carrots, and everything I could ever imagine going into a BM. I let the boy take over, sprinkling and spicing my drink to perfection. Several times over as we obviously returned to the station multiple times]
Fueled by our beverages, we perused the menu. I love a brunch menu that offers the perfect mix of sweet and savory, or breakfast and lunch. I don’t always want eggs at brunch–in fact, unless I am dreadfully hungover and they are Eggs Benedict over perfectly crispy biscuits and bacon, I rarely want eggs at brunch, and I greatly appreciated Saxon+Parole’s understanding of this. We were more in a lunch mood, and ordered several plates to share.
[We started with the Bread Basket–homemade pastries & bread, salted butter, sweet vanilla butter and homemade jams. The homemade cinnabun and the savory chocolate chip biscuit were my favorite, but all of these disappeared rapidly]
[The boy had the burger: dry aged Angus beef with Havarti, maple bacon, a fried egg + fries. I love adding egg to a burger–something about the runny yolk changes the entire flavor. The boy pronounced this one flavorful, perfectly grilled, and filling]
[Feeling slightly full from the bread basket and Bloody Marys, I ordered the roasted beet salad, served with watercress, sweet spiced pecans and feta cheese. Ya’ll know how I feel about my feta cheese. The salad was fresh and the flavors delightful]
[Intrigued by something called the “toasted chili marshmallow,” I ordered the carrot and ginger soup to follow. This was definitely my favorite dish I had. I have no idea how to make soup. I have never tried, except for a can or a mix, and thus especially appreciate a bowl of delicious creamy broths and veggies. The carrot and ginger was unlike anything I had ever tasted–I’ve been on a ginger kick lately, and this did not disappoint. If I had any faith in my ability to not burn down a kictch, I would say that I would attempt this recipe at home, but my cooking skills being as they are, I will continue to let Saxon+Parole do it for me]
Overall, brunch at Saxon+Parole was delicious. It’s rare to find a chic and tasty downtown brunch that doesn’t have an hour long wait and throngs of twenty-somethings seriously overdressed for a casual meal shouting that they “just need another mimosaaaaaaaa” (ladies: rule of thumb. If it is still light out, you don’t need to wear YSL platforms and Kim Kardashian makeup. Even in the West Village. You look stupid). I will gladly return to Saxon+Parole for an intimate dinner, or a big brunch party–the spacious dining room seems perfectly accomodating for you, 8 of your best girlfriends, and your very good friend Mary.
[Bread & Bloodies--a perfect brunch!]