The creation of a brunch menu can be a rudimentary thing for a restaurant — waffles and pancakes with colorful berries on top, a variety of ubiquitous egg plates (Benedict, frittatas, huevos rancheros, western omelet), and avocado toast would be standard items offered. Throw in a few mimosas and Bloody Marys and you’re on your way to a straightforward brunch service. Often the executive chef likes Sunday off anyway so why not let the B-team handle these brunch basics?
At the newish Augustine’s Salumeria (opened in July) and Goosefeather (debuted in 2019 but brunch menu is new this summer), they’ve eschewed routine notions of what brunch is and instead created inspired menus that makes it especially difficult to decide what to have (My solution? Order a heap!).
Augustine’s is run by husband-and-wife team of Brianne Myers and Chef Marc Taxiera who have many strong relationships with NYC vendors — thus, the ingredients tend to be local and top-notch, such as in the zucchini flowers stuffed with Hoofprint Cheese Company (Millbrook) goat cheese and topped with Calabrian chili oil, or the cinnamon French toast made with The Kneaded Bread’s (Port Chester) cinnamon swirl loaf. Many restaurants tout the importance of locality on their “About Us” section of their website but not all see it through.
Other dishes to order include the mortadella benedetto, a take on eggs Benedict with a pistachio hollandaise, and eggs in hell (baked eggs and a house-made hot sausage in a thick tomato sauce) that tastes closer to heaven.
Located at the top of the hill at Tarrytown House Estate in The King Mansion, brunch at Goosefeather is a tad fancier affair (though certainly not jacket required fancy). Helmed by James Beard-nominated Chef Dale Talde, who is a familiar face to those who watch food TV programming and who offers modern takes on traditional Cantonese fare, has created an alluring brunch menu that sparkles with unique gems.
Take the chicken and waffles. Moist, oversized tenders of chicken are fried up with a crunchy kung pao-style coating (i.e, a stir-fried chili pepper flavor) and served with mochi waffles (made with sweet rice flour instead of white flour so the texture is soft with a bit of chew) and hot honey. It’s a dish to return for.
Also on the must-order list are chilled lobster bao buns with tarragon aioli; smashed crispy fingerling potatoes with turmeric caramel and pickled chiles; fried chicken dumplings, and smoked salmon fried rice with everything bagel spice.
The beverage program is also impressive at Goosefeather; General Manager Carlos Baz was formerly at LES classic watering hole Black Crescent, as well as Piggyback Bar in Jersey City. The heady Bloody Mary, in addition to Worcestershire and horseradish, has sriracha and garlic, and is an excellent way to toast your newly adjusted expectations of brunch.
213 Halstead Ave, Mamaroneck; 914.315.6541
49 E Sunnyside Ln, Tarrytown House Estate, Tarrytown; 914.829.5454
Related: Get to Know Celebrity Chef Dale Talde of Tarrytown’s Goosefeather