The Post-Mimosa Brunch

Alder and Estela put a modern twist on the weekend ritual

Either we're as hungover as we feel or there really is a pizza bagel on the new brunch menu at Alder.

Yes there is. But like most everything at Wylie Dufresne's modernist gastropub, it's not quite what it seems: The four adorably ersatz pepperonis atop the house-made bagel ($14) are in fact gelatinous egg yolks coated in a fine pepperoni powder.

Welcome to the new brunch, in which restaurants you wouldn't expect to enter the Eggs Benedict fray give us a reason to venture out on the weekend.

Coconut waffles, jerk chicken and nice Jon Bignelli at Alder.

"We wanted a juxtaposition of brunch classics and stellar food and hangover food," says Alder executive chef Jon Bignelli. Deep-fried bacon, egg and cheese gyozas ($12) that eat like bite-sized breakfast sandwiches round all those bases, as do subtly sweet coconut waffles topped with jerk chicken ($17).

And to account for the sins of the previous evening, the bar offers the Stop Light series, three boozy pressed juices ($12 each) available in a tomato-miso red, pineapple-pepper yellow and apple-kale green.

Over at Soho's Estela, master of subtle intrigue Ignacio Mattos takes brunch's essential elements–eggs, bacon, potatoes, bread–and adapts them to his own novel yet satisfying uses. A single well-charred slice of Bien Cuit miche is spread with glossy persimmon jam and draped with two translucent sheets of lardo ($9). It is saltily porky and blissfully sweet.

Gently seared cod ($24), delicate as a soft-boiled egg, comes with tiny whole roasted potatoes and a chunky vermillion Romesco.

And what's the hint of sweetness playing off the Southwestern spice in the pancetta, egg and creamy avocado mash sandwich ($14)? Why, it's almond paste, of course. Genius.

Re-invented brunch: It's enough to get us out of bed on a Sunday.