To write about brunch spots in NYC and not include Chris Santos' Lower East Side gem Stanton Social would be a crime. Stanton Social is a beautiful restaurant and bar that I first knew as the place to get an awesome dirty martini amid beautiful people on a Saturday night. The first time I tried it for brunch, my life was forever changed.
The first thing that sets Stanton Social apart from other brunch spots is the fact that the menu is tapas-style. Tapas? For brunch? Oh yes.
If you're anything like me, you'll order eggs for brunch and when they come, you'll wish you ordered pancakes, and vice versa. Or, you'll go all out and order the special that has eggs, bacon, ham, sausage, pancakes, biscuits and waffles, eat everything and then need to lie down to take a 100-hour nap. (And if you're a Dane Cook fan, you'll note that this is also called "taking a coma.")
But not at Stanton Social. Here you can order a stack of Silver Dollar Pancakes, 1 small Bacon, Egg & Cheese Slider, a tiny plate of Huevos Rancheros and an order of Pumpkin Mini-Muffins and still have room for the famous French Onion Soup Dumplings. This concept is brilliant, and I went for brunch this past Sunday with Patrick, Caroline and two of Pat's friends from Baltimore. Here is what we had.
Caroline and I started with the Pumpkin Muffins with Cinnamon Butter. Seasonal, moist and absolutely delicious. Pumpkin is one of my favorite flavors, so if there is a pumpkin item on the menu, I will usually order it. These muffins didn't disappoint. Patrick got the Ricotta Fritters with Raspberry Jam, and they were sweet with a wonderful ricotta flavor. We all know I'm not one for sweet, but if there is any kind of cheese, I'm in.too tiny, and I didn't try the Lobster Benedict, but Caroline & Pat seemed very pleased with it.
Another item that my friends ordered that I didn't try was the 'Kobe Philly' with Truffle & Goat Cheese Fondue. Those who did have it said it was their favorite thing they had. Sounds like I missed out, but there's always next time!
We rounded out the meal with the Spicy Lamb Souvlakis with Tzatziki, Lime & Harissa Aioli, the Social Mac & Cheese with Chorizo & Ovendried Tomato and the aforementioned famous French Onion Soup Dumplings.
All 5 of us ended our meal absolutely stuffed, and the ONLY bite left on the table was the end of the Mac & Cheese. We were all too full to take the last bite. This is a brunch that I will recommend every New Yorker try at least once, go with a good group and share everything on the menu. The food is incredible.
Chris Santos has just opened another restaurant called Beauty & Essex around the corner form Stanton Social. I have dinner reservations there next week, and I can't wait to try it and write about it.
Well done, Mr. Santos. Well done.
-The Fabulous Foodie