I recently found myself in New York on a Sunday. I didn’t plan it that way, but that’s how it played out. So, being jet-lagged and facing an empty fridge, I decided to go out for… BRUNCH, a word and concept I despise. Here’s what I have against the b thing: it’s almost impossible to find a wine that matches well with eggs or French toast. I don’t drink bloody marys or mimosas, and though I like margaritas, they seem a bit much at midday. A major meal without a compatible wine is not much to look forward to in my book, but what, given this unpromising Sunday, was the alternative?
I do look forward to Cookshop, one of the two best things to happen to my Chelsea neighborhood in years, so that’s where I decided to go. The other great new thing is the Frank Gehry IAC building which makes me happy every time I look at it.
Anyway, on to Cookshop which is as close as we New Yorkers can get to Zuni, one of my favorite places in San Francisco. Cookshop makes their own great versions of all the classics. I ordered the huevos rancheros along with a glass of chinon rose. The wine was great and went horribly with the huevos, naturally. But let’s concentrate on the good part: The huevos rancheros were made with calypso beans, a nice touch. So, instead of mushy refried beans which I don’t like, I got whole cooked beans layered with eggs, bacon, Monterey jack cheese, a lime crème fraiche, red onion-jalapeno salsa, and grilled corn tortilla. This was really satisfying and not too heavy. My friend had the sunny side skillet eggs with Berkshire slab bacon and semolina raisin bread. You could tell the eggs were not from commercially raised chickens because the yolks were a deep, satisfying orange in color. I don’t eat doughnuts or beignets but when I saw someone eating buttermilk beignets with an orange-rhubarb compote, my mouth began to water. There are some other great brunch specials here too: a grass-fed burger with Vermont cheddar, twice smoked bacon, pickled red onion, chipotle ketchup, and fries; and buttermilk fried baby chicken with mixed greens, shaved radishes, green olives with a zinfandel vinaigrette. Oh, and they also have some intriguing drinks like the morning mojito, an elderflower cocktail, and a verbena Collins.
I love the way Cookshop gets better with each passing month. You can always count on amazing ingredients--organic, sustainable, seasonal. The wine list is amazing too, and the staff is friendly. Best of all if you sit outside, it’s a perfect place to bring your dog. When I sit down with my Jack Russell, Bessie, the waitress greets her by name and brings her a bowl of water. If you don’t like dogs, don’t worry, the place is big enough that you don’t have to sit near one. On your way out you can look up and see the Gehry building which makes a perfect conclusion to the meal.Cookshop
156 10th avenue