If you are a fan of US television series and movies, you will be familiar with New York’s obsession with brunch. Brunch features so prominently in movies and TV shows based in New York that I knew it had to be among one of the first things I tried here. I have always wanted to have brunch with my girl pals Sex and the City style, talking about any and everything under the sun…and Sarabeth’s is a definitive top pick!
Sarabeth’s is one of New York’s brunch institutions and has five full-service restaurants around the city. I have been to the one at Central Park South thrice and on average, we have waited around 10-20 minutes for an indoor table and around 30 minutes for a table outdoor, which is not bad at all (actually, brunch almost doesn’t feel like brunch here in NYC unless there is a wait). The hustle and bustle of people waiting outside makes the anticipation more pronounced. The outdoor seating area has about ten tables that overlook Central Park. During the summer, the outdoor seating area is always in higher demand. Inside, the entryway is deceptively narrow; it always amazes me how big the restaurant actually is! There are several tables surrounding a courtyard with flowers and plants scattered all over.
I almost always have the lemon ricotta pancakes. Five small palm-sized light-as-a-feather pancakes with a light dusting of icing sugar, served with butter, maple syrup and plump blackberries. While I usually tend towards selecting something savoury at brunch, the ricotta cheese in these pancakes impart a lovely balance of sweet and sour. The tart whiff of lemon emanating from them also make the dish so much more appetising. My various brunch companions have had the eggs benedict and the various omelette offerings. Even my mum enjoyed brunch at Sarabeth’s, which says a lot because she is not usually too adventurous about non-Asian food.
A special shout-out to the side of pork sausages with apple sauce…I usually pay very little attention to sides during brunch because brunch main courses are already so filling, but because my family was visiting, we split three plates and a side. The sausages were grilled to perfection, just the right blend of juiciness and char-grilled flavour on the outside. Paired with the chunky apple sauce, the duo tasted incredible. I can’t wait to try the chicken sausage with apricot sauce on another visit. Prices average about USD20+ per person with tip and excluding drinks.
Competition for brunch places in New York is steep. I have tried Isabella’s on the Upper West Side, which is great value for money (the price of the entree includes a cold beverage and a hot beverage) and serves up some fabulous eggs benedict combinations; they have 5 different versions–I tried the crab cakes benedict with spinach and loved it! I have also tried Eatery in Hell’s Kitchen and loved the little touches: they serve delicious mini banana cakes as a starter, which I love even though I’m usually not a big fan of bananas.
Sarabeth’s Central Park South
40 Central Park South
New York, NY 10019, USA
Tel: +1 212 826 5959
Brunch served from 8am to 4pm, open for lunch and dinner as well.