One of the interesting things about holidays is that the traditions surrounding them can be so enjoyable, and oftentimes so delicious, that even the most staunch atheist can feel hesitant to completely abandon them. Even those who still identify with a particular religion can often forgo the rituals, services, and prayers associated with certain holidays but will definitely embrace the gift exchanges, parties, and most definitely the food. I’m certain that not everyone has been making sacrifices for Lent. Many Catholics have probably forgotten that Palm Sunday was this past weekend, many more will be observing Holy Week as just another week, and there are probably quite a few who don’t plan on going to church this coming Sunday. Nevertheless, many self-identifying Christians will probably be making plans to enjoy an Easter meal this weekend. Along with the warmer weather our northern compatriots hope to experience, our recent “spring forward” to which many of us are still adjusting also marks an unofficial start to “the brunch season”. Sure, we enjoy leisurely al fresco brunches all the time in South Florida, but brunch never seems as mandatory as it does during one of the Spring’s most brunch-friendly holidays, Easter. In case you have yet to make plans for this weekend, here are few of Joonbug’s suggestions for restaurants serving up Easter brunch in South Florida:
Vintage Twin, the vintage treasure hunters who rework items from the past right here in New York are setting up shop for a one day pop-up during brunch this Sunday, March 10th, downstairs in SoHo’s The Dalloway between noon and 5 pm. Come check out Vintage Twin’s wide array of one-of-a-kind vintage items for ladies, gents, and more! This Sunday Funday event is in honor of MS Awareness Week with 10% of the day’s proceeds going toward supporting The Pediatric MS Society. When you enjoy brunch upstairs at The Dalloway, we recommend their oysters and delicious bloodies, you will receive a $5 dollar coupon to shop downstairs at The Vintage Twin. If you want to build up your appetite, shop before you brunch. Show your Vintage Twin receipt and you’ll be given a brunch cocktail on the house.
Sign up for The Vintage Twin’s mailing list for updates on their website set to launch this spring!
Envision yourself driving along the Pan-American Highway while the Beat Era is in full swing. As you drive down the highway, stretching from Mexico all the way to Brazil, the balmy Latin air entwined in your hair, you pull off to the side of the road to grab a bite to eat. Then you realize you’re in front of Oficina Latina on Prince Street in Nolita. With vintage décor such as antique tin plate above the bar from a 1920s bank, “trouble” lights from a mechanics garage, reclaimed hardwood floors, and recreated furnishings the atmosphere generated at Oficina Latina resembles the countless roadside eateries that scattered the highway during the 1950s.
OTC is one of the few restaurants in Miami that has given me the same kind of satisfaction I received after having meals in Paris, which is saying a lot when one compares our local burgeoning food culture to that of the perhaps the most important food city in the world (read review here). The order-at-the-counter restaurant has been making waves in Brickell’s dining scene ever since it opened with its honest, flavorful, and reasonably priced à la carte menu that enables diners to create their own meals from a variety of proteins, sandwiches, sides, and salads in addition to its ever-changing selection of craft beers. If you have yet to become addicted to this casual eatery’s cuisine, then now is as good a time as ever as OTC has recently unveiled a brunch menu and is launching its Beer Week this coming Tuesday, January 22nd.
If you live in a cosmopolitan city and you love to eat, chances are that you’ve sampled Thai cuisine at one point in your life. Anyone who considers themselves a foodie is most likely very familiar with the coconut milk-enriched curries, the flavors of lemongrass and galangal, the fiery nam prik chilis, and the sweet undertones from the addition of creamy palm sugar. Miami isn’t generally known for having a large Thai constituency, but that doesn’t deter from the fact that we have a generous selection of good Thai restaurants, and with good reason: the complex flavors of Thai cuisine tend to fare well in a tropical climate like that of South Florida. Nevertheless, what many of us think we know about Thai cuisine is just the tip of the iceberg...or in the case of Thailand, the tip of the peninsula. Thailand, while a lot smaller than the US, is a large, very old, and quite diverse country, and the majority of the Thai cuisine that is available in Miami and much of the rest of the country is the fiery, aggressively flavored cuisine of the south. While southern Thai cuisine is arguably delicious, discovering the cuisines of northern Thailand is a true epiphany that will turn any newbie into an instant convert leading them to thumb through the pages of Thai menus looking for sticky rice and Chiang Rai sausages. We used to have an authentic northern Thai restaurant in Kendall many years ago, but it appeared as if Miami just wasn’t quite ready to embrace a Thai cuisine that was dissimilar to the coconut milk curries, pad thai, and heaps of jasmine rice most people were familiar with. It wasn’t until the foodie revolution hit Miami hard that the 305 was ready to embrace regional ethnic cuisines, and that’s when John Kunkel decided to open Khong River House on Lincoln Road in the old Miss Yip’s space.
I had once written an article for my college newspaper about how dim sum would replace sushi as the new trendy Asian thing to eat, and how sushi had become so played out that it has become pedestrian and unexciting. While dim sum has become increasingly popular and better known than it was nearly a decade ago, it has yet to catch up with sushi in the trendy department, which is why we have yet to see “dim sum bars” dotting every block of South Beach. Dim sum is delicious and sophisticated in its own right, but whereas sushi seems to be in a constant state of innovative reinvention, dim sum selections manage to remain pretty consistent to what they have been for decades...if not centuries. Furthermore, some of the best places to enjoy this Cantonese breakfast/brunch tradition can offer very little in terms of ambiance, and even the nicer ones are not what one would consider to be “design forward”. Such factors have never been deterrents for serious foodies, but a recent dim sum brunch at BLOOM in Wynwood is showing that dim sum is starting to break the mold in Miami, becoming sleek, modern, and quite cosmopolitan.
Junoon, the highly regarded Indian restaurant in Chelsea, recently expanded their menu to include brunch. Indian food is known for its bold and spicy flavors, so apart from a Bloody Mary, you might be wondering how they manage to pull off a brunch as good as their lunch and dinner. Executive Chef Vikas Khanna wows all with his modern take on traditional Indian dishes and incorporating Indian versions of American classics.
Feel free to take your pick of dishes from Junoon's many choices of brunch fare, or smartly opt for the prix fixe, which includes an appetizer and main dish, along with unlimited Mimosas, Bloody Marys or Bellinis for just $35. Trust us, you'll leave the restaurant both full and with plenty of leftovers for later. To start, try their innovative Naan French Toast, served with house spice-infused maple syrup or the Indian-Style Masala Omelet, made with onions, garlic, chilies, and cilantro.
We know many of you are getting your Independence Day celebration started early, so we've added some additional revelry for Friday through Sunday. It's going to be a wild week in NYC. Enjoy!
Where: The Darby, 246 West 14th Street.
Where: Tammany Hall Tavern, 218 East 53rd St.
Where: Highland Park, 206 East 34th Street
Where: Sway, 305 Spring St. Manhattan
Where: Gansevoort Park Avenue, 420 park Ave South
Both of Sushisamba's NYC locations have launched a new summer brunch menu, available on weekends from 11:30am until 4pm. From sweet and savory dishes to shakes and cocktails, this new menu is the cat's meow.
Try out a dish from the sweet menu like Doce de Leite French Toast with fresh berries and sesame whipped cream, or housemade Quinoa Waffles kuromitsu with vanilla-cinnamon butter.
Or opt for a dish from their savory menu like Wagyu Sliders with aji panca ketchup, shredded lettuce, tomato, and sesame brioche or Lobster Eggs Benedict with miso-yuzu hollandaise, South American frittata linquica, asparagus, heart of palm, manchego cheese, shrimp and polenta poached egg, nad manchego.