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New York's 15 Hottest Brunch Restaurants, Winter 2013

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12345122012_10_hasmaps.jpegThis city has plenty of restaurants that offer lame brunch prix fixes with sloppy egg dishes and weak mimosas — these places give brunch a bad name. Here's a guide to 15 new restaurants that are serving non rip-off brunch menus with great food. Seek these places out if you like breakfast, lunch, or both:

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L'Apicio

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The brunch menu at Joe Campanale and Gabe Thompson's East Village hot spot has a little something for everyone. You can get Italian pastries, salads, pancakes, fried chicken, pastas, and egg dishes. The brunch menu also includes one dish made with that cheesy starch that Pete Wells loved so much: polenta with shrimp, bacon, and tomato.

Rosemary’s Enoteca & Trattoria

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Carlos Suarez's super-popular West Village Italian restaurant offers many of the pastas and salads from the dinner menu plus things like eggs Benedict, eggs with spicy tomato sauce, and smoked salmon on focaccia. Right now, Rosemary's is very manageable at brunch. This is a great place to take the lady, fellas.

El Toro Blanco

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For brunch, Josh Capon and John McDonald's hot new Mexican restaurant serves things like steak and eggs, chilaquiles, huevos rancheros, hot honey apple cakes, and baked brioche with bananas and pecans. Much of the lunch menu is also offered on the weekend. Don't pass up the fresh guacamole with warm chips.

Reynard

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Here's the secret: Reynard was made for weekend mornings. The space looks great with all that natural light pouring in through those big windows, the servers are chill, the music is mellow, and the food is both terrific and a huge value — most entrees are around $12. The menu changes daily, but you'll always find a perfectly prepared plate of scrambled eggs with organic greens, a monster breakfast sandwich with homemade sausage, a seasonal fruit dish that goes the distance, and at least one or two sweet items. Lately, the Reynard kitchen has been serving a sensational savory Dutch pancake and a roasted beef sandwich.

Blue Ribbon Sushi Izakaya

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Blue Ribbon Sushi Izakaya just introduced a crazy brunch deal: an all-you can eat buffet with sushi, peel and eat shrimp, fresh-carved meats, pastries, and charcuterie, plus items from the kitchen like fried chicken, biscuits & gravy, and pancakes. The buffet-only meal is $29.50, and the buffet selection plus kitchen items is $39.50. Check out the bonkers menu here.

Gran Eléctrica

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On the weekends, Gran Electrica serves a brunch menu with things like tacos, huevos rancheros, chilaquiles, buttermilk pancakes, quesadillas, and pastries. The critics love the Colonie team's light-and-fresh approach to regional Mexican cuisine, and the restaurant has an excellent cocktail list.

The NoMad Hotel

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The Nomad has a really great vibe in the afternoon. If you want eggs, there are plenty of options, including a version of eggs Benedict made with crab, and a bacon, egg, and potato flatbread. But at brunch, you can also order several of the standout dishes from the Nomad's dinner menu, like the king crab and Meyer lemon tagliatelle, and the arctic char with cucumber and buttermilk. And, if you want to splash out, the Nomad's brunch menu includes a sandwich version of the epic roast chicken ($26). A pro tip: make a reservation for brunch, or plan to roll in before 1 p.m. The place is packed with hotel guests after that, and you won't be able to snag a table.

M. Wells Dinette

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Hugue Dufour's critically-acclaimed new diner inside Moma P.S.1 does not offer a brunch menu, but the restaurant always serves a mix of hearty savory items, salads, and pastries, and it opens at 10 a.m. on the weekends. An average menu might include an egg & tomato pot, a Caesar salad, bone marrow with escargots, blood pudding, veal Stroganoff, and Paris brest for dessert.

Littleneck

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This stylish, year-old Gowanus seafood restaurant just introduced brunch (or "weekend lunch"). The menu includes a duck egg sandwich with fries, fromage blanc pancakes, a burger, a smoked haddock omelette, and shrimp and grits. And if you want a clam belly roll or a lobster roll, of course you can get that too.

The Penrose

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This hot new Upper East Side gastropub serves a small menu of hearty fare on weekend afternoons. Brunch dishes include fried chicken and waffles, a full Irish breakfast, and eggs scrambled with the meat from their sensational spiced beef sandwich. This is a great place to go if you want a few hairs of the dog that bit you, or if you just want to attack some pub grub in the afternoon.

Arthur on Smith

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Joe Isidori's farm-to-table Italian restaurant serves things like pasta carbonara, eggs with pork ragout, and lamb sausage hash during brunch. The menu also includes a handful of salads. The best thing to do here is order a few dishes and share them in a group.

Brinkley's Station

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The Martignetti Brothers recently opened location of their popular, affordable gastropub Brinkley's on the Upper East Side. It's a fun place. During brunch, the restaurant serves huevos rancheros, steak and eggs, French toast, salads, burgers, fish tacos, and a lobster club sandwich. The bar offers seven types of bloody Marys, all served in pint glasses.

One of last year's hottest restaurants launched brunch not too long ago. Mads Refslund's menu has a lot of variety — you can get beer-and-bread porridge, an open-face pork loin sandwich, Danish doughnuts, a grilled romaine salad, or eggs benedict with smoked salmon. Brunch is an especially good option if you want to check out Acme but don't want to deal with the crowds at night. It's a fairly mellow scene.

The chef at this hip Uptown wine bar peviously worked at Morimoto and Momofuku Ssam Bar. Right now, the kitchen is serving a small, but interesting brunch menu that includes dishes like eggs Benedict, breakfast tacos, brioche French toast, a Monte Cristo sandwich, and a fried chicken bun.

Calliope

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Calliope is the French-influenced restaurant from husband and wife team Eric Korsh (formerly of Waverly Inn) and his Ginevra Iverson (formerly of Prune). For brunch, Calliope serves German pancakes, several egg dishes, a burger, and a rabbit and pork terrine. The menu also includes three kinds of house-smoked fish, which you can order individually for $10 each, or all together for $26.

L'Apicio

The brunch menu at Joe Campanale and Gabe Thompson's East Village hot spot has a little something for everyone. You can get Italian pastries, salads, pancakes, fried chicken, pastas, and egg dishes. The brunch menu also includes one dish made with that cheesy starch that Pete Wells loved so much: polenta with shrimp, bacon, and tomato.

Rosemary’s Enoteca & Trattoria

Carlos Suarez's super-popular West Village Italian restaurant offers many of the pastas and salads from the dinner menu plus things like eggs Benedict, eggs with spicy tomato sauce, and smoked salmon on focaccia. Right now, Rosemary's is very manageable at brunch. This is a great place to take the lady, fellas.

El Toro Blanco

For brunch, Josh Capon and John McDonald's hot new Mexican restaurant serves things like steak and eggs, chilaquiles, huevos rancheros, hot honey apple cakes, and baked brioche with bananas and pecans. Much of the lunch menu is also offered on the weekend. Don't pass up the fresh guacamole with warm chips.

Reynard

Here's the secret: Reynard was made for weekend mornings. The space looks great with all that natural light pouring in through those big windows, the servers are chill, the music is mellow, and the food is both terrific and a huge value — most entrees are around $12. The menu changes daily, but you'll always find a perfectly prepared plate of scrambled eggs with organic greens, a monster breakfast sandwich with homemade sausage, a seasonal fruit dish that goes the distance, and at least one or two sweet items. Lately, the Reynard kitchen has been serving a sensational savory Dutch pancake and a roasted beef sandwich.

Blue Ribbon Sushi Izakaya

Blue Ribbon Sushi Izakaya just introduced a crazy brunch deal: an all-you can eat buffet with sushi, peel and eat shrimp, fresh-carved meats, pastries, and charcuterie, plus items from the kitchen like fried chicken, biscuits & gravy, and pancakes. The buffet-only meal is $29.50, and the buffet selection plus kitchen items is $39.50. Check out the bonkers menu here.

Gran Eléctrica

On the weekends, Gran Electrica serves a brunch menu with things like tacos, huevos rancheros, chilaquiles, buttermilk pancakes, quesadillas, and pastries. The critics love the Colonie team's light-and-fresh approach to regional Mexican cuisine, and the restaurant has an excellent cocktail list.

The NoMad Hotel

The Nomad has a really great vibe in the afternoon. If you want eggs, there are plenty of options, including a version of eggs Benedict made with crab, and a bacon, egg, and potato flatbread. But at brunch, you can also order several of the standout dishes from the Nomad's dinner menu, like the king crab and Meyer lemon tagliatelle, and the arctic char with cucumber and buttermilk. And, if you want to splash out, the Nomad's brunch menu includes a sandwich version of the epic roast chicken ($26). A pro tip: make a reservation for brunch, or plan to roll in before 1 p.m. The place is packed with hotel guests after that, and you won't be able to snag a table.

M. Wells Dinette

Hugue Dufour's critically-acclaimed new diner inside Moma P.S.1 does not offer a brunch menu, but the restaurant always serves a mix of hearty savory items, salads, and pastries, and it opens at 10 a.m. on the weekends. An average menu might include an egg & tomato pot, a Caesar salad, bone marrow with escargots, blood pudding, veal Stroganoff, and Paris brest for dessert.

Littleneck

This stylish, year-old Gowanus seafood restaurant just introduced brunch (or "weekend lunch"). The menu includes a duck egg sandwich with fries, fromage blanc pancakes, a burger, a smoked haddock omelette, and shrimp and grits. And if you want a clam belly roll or a lobster roll, of course you can get that too.

The Penrose

This hot new Upper East Side gastropub serves a small menu of hearty fare on weekend afternoons. Brunch dishes include fried chicken and waffles, a full Irish breakfast, and eggs scrambled with the meat from their sensational spiced beef sandwich. This is a great place to go if you want a few hairs of the dog that bit you, or if you just want to attack some pub grub in the afternoon.

Arthur on Smith

Joe Isidori's farm-to-table Italian restaurant serves things like pasta carbonara, eggs with pork ragout, and lamb sausage hash during brunch. The menu also includes a handful of salads. The best thing to do here is order a few dishes and share them in a group.

Brinkley's Station

The Martignetti Brothers recently opened location of their popular, affordable gastropub Brinkley's on the Upper East Side. It's a fun place. During brunch, the restaurant serves huevos rancheros, steak and eggs, French toast, salads, burgers, fish tacos, and a lobster club sandwich. The bar offers seven types of bloody Marys, all served in pint glasses.

ACME

One of last year's hottest restaurants launched brunch not too long ago. Mads Refslund's menu has a lot of variety — you can get beer-and-bread porridge, an open-face pork loin sandwich, Danish doughnuts, a grilled romaine salad, or eggs benedict with smoked salmon. Brunch is an especially good option if you want to check out Acme but don't want to deal with the crowds at night. It's a fairly mellow scene.

ABV

The chef at this hip Uptown wine bar peviously worked at Morimoto and Momofuku Ssam Bar. Right now, the kitchen is serving a small, but interesting brunch menu that includes dishes like eggs Benedict, breakfast tacos, brioche French toast, a Monte Cristo sandwich, and a fried chicken bun.

Calliope

Calliope is the French-influenced restaurant from husband and wife team Eric Korsh (formerly of Waverly Inn) and his Ginevra Iverson (formerly of Prune). For brunch, Calliope serves German pancakes, several egg dishes, a burger, and a rabbit and pork terrine. The menu also includes three kinds of house-smoked fish, which you can order individually for $10 each, or all together for $26.

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