Friday, March 12, 2010

Restaurant: The Breslin/Stumptown

The Breslin
Ace Hotel
20 W. 29th Broadway
Mon-Fri, 7am-11:45am, noon-4pm, and 5:30pm-4am; Sat-Sun, 7am-4pm and 5:30pm-4am
Subway: N, R, W at 28th St.; 1 at 28th St.

On the one hand, the Breslin is kind of ridiculous. It's in this super-hip hotel, the Ace, in a kind of douchey neighborhood, Murray Hill, and it's a bit of a scene. There is an Opening Ceremony (a high-fshion mini-chain) in the lobby, and the "lobby bar" is totally goofy. However! It's also pretty cool-looking, and the food (by chef April Bloomfield, of the Spotted Pig) is terrific, and let's face it, sometimes a little sceney can be fun!

The dinner - sort of a locavore, top-drawer, high-end take on gastropub, which I do realize is already high-end - is very good, with lots of homemade charcuterie and house-made pickles and sticky-toffee pudding. But the brunch, which is well-priced and much less crowded, is among the city's best. I have had: perfectly poached eggs, grapefruit with ginger sugar, Greek yogurt with homemade granola, delicious coffee, and among the best hot cross buns I've ever tasted and I am serious about my hot-cross buns! Also, they start serving early, which I love.

There's a branch of Stumptown Coffee in the hotel, which is typically good if you're someone who cares a lot about coffee in that Portland way, and is notable both for the very friendly baristas' absurd , L.A.-circa-'04 getups and the excellent pastries, provided by the Breslin.

(And, let's face it, I also like Opening Ceremony.)

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