A Beautiful Brunch in Chelsea

by Louise, Community Manager

On a moderately chilly April Saturday I walked through the hustle and bustle of an unexpected street fair on 8th avenue on the way to meet my mother for brunch. As soon as I entered Gascogne the hubbub and stress of NYC on a weekend morning disappeared in favor of the calm oasis of the restaurant’s interior. Gascogne is cozy and well laid out, with enough space between tables that you don’t have to listen to your neighbor’s conversation. It is not overly ornate but instead somehow evokes the feeling of eating in a friend’s home – but that friend whose house is beautiful and always tidy in a way that makes you both appreciative and jealous.

The service at Gascogne is similarly warm and friendly, and my mother and I settled into our comfortable table with a view of the gorgeous back garden. We were a little sad that it was not warm enough to sit outside, but all the better to have an excuse to return! The brunch prix fixe offered a choice of a mimosa or a bloody mary, but Mom and I are dirty martini girls (we’re New Yorkers, after all) and the ones we were brought were superb.

The prix fixe brunch (an absolute steal at $22 per person for three courses and a cocktail, by the way) offered several choices for starter and main. My mother started with the asparagus mousse – light, airy and ever so slightly warm served with fresh greens that add a great textural component to the dish. I’m not ashamed to say that she only got to eat about half of it as I commandeered the other half. My mesclun salad was also delectable – crunchy and perfectly dressed with sizeable pieces of fruit offering occasional bursts of sweetness.

Our main dishes were practically gone as soon as they were set down – I’d intended to take photos of everything we ate but they were so delicious that I completely forgot! My mother had the sunnyside up eggs with foie gras, a rich, savory dish that was simple in appearance but complex and luscious in flavor. Gascogne does right by the ingredients by keeping it straightforward. After all, with a couple of good eggs and some foie gras, what more do you really need? For my own entrée I chose the eggs benedict. I love hollandaise sauce but am not a fan of Canadian bacon, so any restaurant that offers an alternative wins instead points with me, and Gascogne offers not one but two, allowing you to choose between garlic sausage and gravlax. I went with the garlic sausage and it was perfect: all of the ingredients were of course deliciously decadent, but the acidity from the lemon juice in the hollandaise made for a nice complement to the richness of the sausage and the eggs. I made short work of it.

After a nice break to finish our martinis and chat, the waiter brought over some fresh crème caramel topped with a couple of juicy blueberries – the perfect way to end a delightful Saturday brunch.

Gascogne is a lovely choice for one of your meals on your next trip to NYC – in addition to the brunch, which I highly recommend, lunch and dinner are served seven days a week and there is a terrific prix fixe pre-theater option as well. The back garden is open as long as the weather is warm, so contact us at New York Guest for your priority reservations!

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