Clinton Street Baking Company
(Lower East Side)
The Clinton Street Baking Company was on my list of places to visit, and I managed to stumble upon it one morning. It was fate.
In fact, it was fate that I would eat one of the most amazing French toast breakfasts I’ve ever had. The French toast was actually thick pieces of rich, eggy brioche. It was lightly pan-fried, and then doused in bourbon-laced caramelized bananas and pecans. As if that weren’t decadent enough, it was served with real maple butter.
They’re also famous for their buttermilk biscuits. Unfortunately, I was so stuffed full of sinfully good breakfast that I didn’t try a biscuit.
It’s a teeny tiny place. If you have the luxury of going during the week, take it. It will be busy then, but nowhere near the madness that weekends probably bring.
Clinton Street Baking Company
4 Clinton St
New York, NY
I love brunch. Actually, I love breakfast but I’m rarely able to enjoy breakfast. And on the weekends, I love to sleep in – which means that breakfast becomes brunch.
Anyway, I’m having my two oldest friends over for brunch today. By oldest, I mean that I’ve known one girl my entire life, and the other since I was eight. We don’t see each other nearly often enough these days, so I’m looking forward to seeing them.
I’m making French toast with boozy bananas (dark rum or orange liqueur? I can’t decide) and honey-glazed bacon. We’ll finish with lime-ginger sorbet, and wash everything down with mimosas.
The combination of good friends, food and stories – it’s going to be fabulous.
My friend Natalia is from Peru, and a few weeks ago she asked me if I had a good panettone recipe. I don’t – more on that later – and was curious as to why she wanted one.
The Whip is one part art gallery, one part restaurant, and one part bar. Given that it’s on a less-gentrified stretch of Main Street, it’s also a popular hipster hangout – but please don’t hold that against it.
I met Elisa for brunch there on the weekend, and the quality of food really blew me away. I’ve only had evening appetizers there, and while the food was well-prepared, it wasn’t terribly inventive or amazing. Apparently they’ve got the A-team working weekend brunch, because it was some kind of wonderful.
You know it’ll be a good day when it starts with old friends, orange juice and champagne. That excellent start was followed by caramelized banana french toast.
Unfortunately, I had tried to make a pink grapefruit granite for dessert. I say tried to make, because I used a recipe from my restaurant days which called for a significant amount of vodka. Vodka doesn’t freeze at the same temperature that water does, so while the boozy granite froze quickly in the super-freezer at the restaurant, it didn’t freeze as nicely when I tried it at home. In the end, I nixed the granite and served a citrus salad instead.
On a completely unrelated note, I am sipping a lovely pink grapefruit cocktail.