Monday, July 29, 2013

Ivy Revisited: This Time We’re Bragging About The Brunch!

By: Anne M. Raso

I loved my first visit to Ivy in midtown for dinner. The food was Modern American with a twist of different ethnic flavors and the décor is non-pretentious. It pretty much gives off the vibe of a clean, hip, midtown sports bar that the whole family could come to or that you can stop in for after work drinks or snacks. You don’t need a res (although they take them) and the staff is dressed casually.
Red Velvet Pancakes

The brunch is $30 per person with unlimited Red Or Yellow Bloody Marys, Mimosas or Bellinis but does not include coffee. Drinks are a cut above here—I believe that they use all brand name liquor and their bellinis are extra smooth; I can drink four or five of these in a row if I wasn’t concerned about being able to stand up later as I do not hold my liquor well, LOL. (Just for the record, you also have the option to order entrees a la carter with no booze for $11 to $24. Sides including sausage drench fries and sweet potato pulled pork hash are all $6.)
Grand French Toast
So I could not resist trying a few different brunch items on the menu and was impressed with the huge diversity of choices. There is everything from their highly touted Eggs Benedict to Sea Scallops to a Country Breakfast that includes two soft scrambled eggs, a homemade buttermilk biscuit, pork sausage and bacon. My first dish was the Red Velvet Pancakes, which are $12 a la carte. The pancakes are of a medium size—about 6” in diameter, I have never had Red Velvet Pancakes before and I was in for a treat. They were moist and cooked perfectly and topped with a sweet cream cheese drizzle. I still put butter and maple syrup on them but it was not necessary with that delicious white topping that was not too sweet but just right. I would venture to say that these would also make a great dessert if they were to make their own Drench Vanilla ice cream with fresh beans. I got a side of the wonderful Applewood Smoked Bacon ($6) and while it looked like regular bacon, it was really spectacular. This artisanal bacon was crispy and done perfectly to my tastes—and had just the right amount of savory fat. Next up I went the total opposite direction with one of the Thai-influenced dishes on the menu: Chicken Bahn Mi ($14 a la carte). It’s actually a sandwich consisting of marinated chicken breast, slivered carrots, cucumbers, pickled jalapenos, Sriracha aioli, picked cilantro, on a soft baguette. The chicken breast was tender and the pickled cilantro and Sriracha aioli together gave a spicy kick!
Chicken Bahn Mi
The Grand French Toast ($12 a la carte) was my final brunch item and it consists of over 1” thick Challah bread dipped in a special Grand Marnier batter and tops with Nutella sauce and chopped hazelnuts. Yes, this French Toast is rich but not over the top. Kids from 3 to 93 would love this simply because it’s tender and sweet French toast with a chocolate kick. The Nutella sauce has a little cinnamon in it and it’s a nice touch.

Would I go back to Ivy for brunch—or for any other meal for that matter? You bet! I like the consistency of the quality of the food, the staff’s attitudes, the open and airy atmosphere and the fact that it is centrally located in Manhattan! An added bonus is that the windows in the front of the restaurant are huge so you can people watch from almost anywhere on the floor.

944 Eighth Avenue
New York, NY 10019
Cuisine: Modern American

Photos: Anne M. Raso

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