Dining

The Post-Mimosa Brunch

Alder and Estela put a modern twist on the weekend ritual
Hang on to your Bloodys: Jerk chicken and waffles and bacon egg and cheese gyozas are what's for brunch at Alder.
Alder East Village Jerk Chicken and Coconut Waffles

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.

Alder 157 2nd Ave. New York NY 10003 212-539-1900 Estela 47 E. Houston St. New York NY 10012 212-219-7693

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