Family style brunch never sounded better, especially when it’s from the famed Chef Daniel Boulud. His downtown, casual, spot on Bowery is known for a variety of sausages, burgers and ice cream sundaes. The industrial space is wide open with closed off black booths along the outer edge of the square dining room. The walls are lined with dried goods and brass kitchenware. It’s a little empty during brunch compared to its busy nights, but they sure have created a dreamboat kind of deal. The “Big Bowery Brunch” is 5 courses and $30 per person with a minimum of 6 participants. You can also add in a DIY Cocktail Bar with bloody’s and mimosas for $50 per person.
The first contestant is a Vienoisserie – a heaping tower of pastries including: house made croissants, pains au chocolat, madeleines, danishes, multi-grain bread with butter fig jam and blueberry compote. Yeah, that jam was seriously a winner. Next, the Arugula Salad graced the table with spring onion, spiced pecan, goat cheese en croute and a sherry vinaigrette. Hey, they needed to add some greens as a lining before the sausages and french toast hit. It’s fulfilling and refreshing, and there is room for seconds.
Then you get to choose two different house made sausages. We got one stuffed with cheese and one that came on a bed of spinach. Lets just say the stuffed sausage brought out a lot of pondering and discussion about the built in cheese. No brunch is complete without an egg dish, and the Poached Eggs en Cocotte came with spring garlic, roasted peppers and potato hash. Those potatoes with a side of ketchup really tasted great on a Saturday morning after a night out. They are crunchy, crispy and hot. The Big Bowery Brunch finale sealed the deal to making this morning meal a success. Brioche French Toast with rhubarb compote, rhubarb and strawberry sauce and a plate full of mango, strawberries, blueberries and pineapple is outrageous. The gooey bread mixed with the rhubarb compote is addicting. Don’t be bashful about ordering a side of syrup. While you are supposed to use the sauce, I couldn’t resist some extra sugar. They are almost like french toast sticks and cut up perfectly so that it’s easier to share. It’s a great way to end the meal and for those who always want a sweet bite during brunch but are never brave enough to order those waffles and pancakes on their own.
Overall this group brunch is a great idea, seamless and fun for all. It’s easy to get a reservation and easy to walk in, but it’s not the bubbliest or see and be seen spot to hang for brunch- which isn’t a bad thing. You can finally get some space! The service flows, you get just enough food and aren’t overly stuffed because they serve the right amount for each person. It all ends up evening out if someone takes an extra sausage link one round because the other person will take an extra french toast corner the next.