When your friends say they're going to take you to an industrial-chic brunch spot housed in one of the coolest refurbished-warehouse hotels in Williamsburg, you should believe their praises. And when you get there and the decor (and the food) live up to their tales, you should be grateful for having such cool friends.
Then again, it doesn't take more than a minute to recognize the Wythe Hotel (opened in May 2012) and its in-house restaurant, Reynard, as one of Brooklyn's next iconic spots. Originally constructed in 1901, it has since been converted into a seventy room hotel on the waterfront, featuring spectacular views of Manhattan from its rooftop bar while maintaining some of the gritty feeling that defined Brooklyn for so many years.
But the rooftop views aren't all this place has going for it - one step through the revolving door downstairs, and you're immediately transported into a warehouse fit for a king. The interior of Reynard is full of metalwork fixtures and exposed brick, with a humongous vintage mirror affixed behind the bar (with real dirt showing its age!)
As stunned as I was by the decor, I was even more impressed by the meal offerings. Usually when I have trouble deciding what to get it's because I have a hankering for something, but something else sounds just interesting enough that I feel like I should order it.
Here, the problem was magnified: not only did I have a craving for breakfast food (eggs, eggs, eggs!) but the various brunch combinations were each so inventive and original that I had a hard time even coming up with a food compromise.
I ended up surprising even myself and getting the french toast with duck confit - and, of course, a cheddar scallion biscuit on the side for us all to split.
Those little white things are a citrus fruit similar to grapefruit (I can't for the life of me remember exactly what it is but I think it's a Pomelo) and there were toasted hazelnuts garnishing the plate. You guys, this dish was so delicious that I almost didn't mind the frisée! You know that means big things coming from me.
Kate opted for a delicious egg and sausage sandwich...
...and Freyan said Yes! to the mushroom omelette of the day.
Listen, I have to say something else about the food. Not only were the main plates we ordered delicious, but the salad was undeniably one of the winning parts of the meal. I usually prefer my salad to be an even ratio of leaves-to-other-things (cheese, egg, nuts, avocado, etc.) so for me to rave about this simple salad with vinaigrette and watermelon radish means it had to be top notch.
Oh, you wanted another look at the duck-toast? Who am I to deny you!
After breakfast we made a valiant attempt to go upstairs and see the view of the Manhattan Skyline (even in sub-freezing temperatures), but the bar wasn't open yet so we were promptly stopped by a very attractive security guard. At least that gives me an excuse to go back! Not that I need an excuse.
Lest you feel mislead by the springtime picture of the rooftop, I just wanted to let you know what it really looked like when we were there:
Yeah. It was a bit chilly.
Luckily, we scooted our little bundled selves down the block to Blue Bottle Coffee for some warming post-brunch bevvies (yes, there's always time for coffee) and a trip to Mast Brothers Chocolate! But more on that in another post...
What's your favorite brunch spot?