Lazy weekend mornings and brunches are quite a pairing. While the advantage of staying in pjs as your make your own brunch at home is quite nice, the thought of having numerous food choices and no clean-up can make getting dressed worth the effort.
In an attempt to help those in the Northeast find the best brunch restaurants, I submitted a query to HARO (Help a Reporter Out) seeking recommendations for great brunch restaurants in New England and Upstate New York. Many, many recommendations were received and reduced to one restaurant per state. Unfortunately, Rhode Island and Vermont were not represented.
In the spirit of full disclosure, it should be noted that I have not dined at any of these restaurants, so each restaurant has provided a brief summary of its brunch. Please take the time and vote for the brunch that awakens your appetite the most. The most popular brunch will be announced on Wednesday, August 5th.
Finally, don’t forget to submit a comment about your brunch of choice. One comment will be chosen at random, and the author will awarded a gift certificate to the winning restaurant.
Without further ado, here are the Northeast Best Brunch nominees:
Damariscotta River Grill, Damariscotta, Maine
The Damariscotta River Grill serves regional, upscale comfort food, and Sunday brunch is a delightful treat. Specialty coffees, cocktails and quintessential Maine ingredients give Chef Rick Hirsch a platform for culinary creativity. Menu highlights include Pemaquid oysters–fresh from the Damariscotta River–with a “Three-Ring Circus” of sauces (mignonette, snappy jalapeno relish and the Grill’s own fresh horseradish sauce), lobster BLT, clam chowder, banana foster pancakes and stuffed French toast. The menu is a masterpiece. Furthermore, Chef Hirsch’s commitment to supporting Maine farmers, producers and fishermen means that this local treasure is supported by its community and visitors “from away.”
Eagle Mountain House, Jackson, New Hampshire
Sunday Champagne Brunch at the Eagle Mountain House is everything you’d expect from this grand Sunday feast that has been served every Sunday for over one hundred years. Long winding tables filled with flowers and foods that may include Belgian waffles, poached salmon, Eggs Benedict, seafood, omelets made fresh-to-order, seasonal fruit, freshly baked pastries, desserts, and more. All deliciously savored and accompanied by a complimentary glass of champagne. Sunday Champagne Brunch has long been regarded as on of the best in the Mount Washington Valley.
Nashoba Valley Winery & Orchard, Bolton, Massachusetts
Nashoba Valley Winery & Orchard presents the absolute best of New England by combining a rustic farm house overlooking vineyards and orchards with a brunch that captures the magic of local farms. Years of success have been sustained by a continued and evolving commitment to local quality and perfection. From produce, herbs and fruits grown in our own gardens, orchards and vineyards to the very best available from neighbors, local farms, friends and artisans, we are passionate about exceeding expectations. The presentation of foods and diversity of wines, all produced on site, captures the essence of creative dining and sustainable farming.
Rizzuto’s Wood-Fired Kitchen & Bar, West Hartford, Connecticut
Rizzuto’s Wood-Fired Kitchen & Bar, an exciting Italian restaurant and gathering place in West Hartford’s Blue Back Square shopping, dining and entertainment district, combines warmth and hospitality with a rustic menu and exceptional wines. The multi-dimensional space dazzles with an active display kitchen, wood-fired oven, antipasti bar, dining room as well as counter seating, an expansive bar with high-top seating, and our wine room.
Carriage House Café, Ithaca, New York
The Carriage House Café in Ithaca, New York, is a beautifully restored, 160-year-old, cobblestone barn, built circa 1850. A historic site near Cornell University, it’s listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Our mission is to provide a haven in which visitors may enjoy the finest quality, hand-crafted food and drinks in an atmosphere of rustic elegance. One of the most popular brunch items at the café is our Brie-Stuffed French Toast. King Arthur Flour is baked into a house-made brioche, battered with Finger Lakes eggs, and served with NYS maple syrup and house-made raspberry coulis.
Now, the hard part: