Forager’s Table

233 8th AveNew York, NY 10011 • (212) 243-8888 • foragersmarket.com/restaurant

Swooned by many a Yelper and blog, Forager seems to make everyone’s top spots for brunch. So, when in Rome, and Chelsea, we grabbed brunch. And as much as I love hatin’ on the Yelpers, I gots to admit, they called this right as rain.* Oh, the asterisk? Well, there was a pretty egregious miss, but will get to that after some lovin’.  

First up, an Ultimate in the pancake category, their orange blossom ricotta pancakes (pictured) are fluffier than a newborn chick after a blowout. Light and brilliant and I’m so glad I don’t live or work closer to this place or I’d become the opposite of light and fluffy. Also in the sweet camp, their Belgian waffles are quite strong as well.

On the savory front, wifey had the salmon tartine and it too was a crowd-pleaser. Said crowd being her teeth and mine. And albeit a simple dish, the ingredients are terrific (like dill creme fraiche) and the balance is nailed.

Not-so nailed is the “steak” egg wrap, which sounds incredible by its description on the menu- so much so that I came dangerously close to order it over the pancakes. Well, phew! Dodged that bullet! But sadly, it hit my father in-law square in the puss. An culinary insult to its brethren dishes, it disappoints on virtually every metric, the first of which being that it is NOT steak. It is ground meat. Granted it might’ve been steak at one point, but that would be like serving up chicken and calling them eggs. Speaking of eggs, they must’ve made them with milk as opposed to crème fraiche, because the wrap was soggier than a toddler’s bed at 2:00am. MOM!!!!!

I don’t want to end on a sour note, however, because the truth is, it was a pretty sweet meal, even down to their fresh juices. But shhh! Don’t tell my father in-law or he’ll disown me.

Pearl at Longshore Restaurant & Bar

260 Compo Rd SWestport, CT 06880 • (203) 557-6260 • pearlatlongshore.com

Four!!!! That’s the knife count I’m giving, because it is very seldom that country club food is ever this good. Not even remotely. But once again, Westport manages to buck suburban expectations to show the world that you can have your crab cake and eat it too.

Like most country clubs the setting is a stunner, after all, you’re usually sitting amidst an immaculately landscaped golf course. But very few clubs are on the ocean, overlooking the water. Which decidedly takes things up a notch as you sit on the outdoor patio, overlooking a sailing class as they practice in the channel between there and Saugatuck Island. Also, a little know secret, Westport is apparently where Great Gatsby was inspired, looking across the Long Island Sound to the houses on the other shore. And while I sat there having my brunch, I must admit, I felt pretty great.

Things did start off a little rocky, however, with poor service and the Nutella cinnamon buns that tasted a lot like Pillsbury. Not that I have anything against the Dough Boy, but when I go out to a restaurant I expect them to up the game over things my kids could make.

But after that, Pearl went on a tear. The warm, fresh-baked bread and olive oil was so good you could tell it was the start of something special. Then came the Maine lobster benny which was absolutely superb! The eggs, runny, the potatoes spicy and the lobster…lobster-y?

The egg white frittata was also delish, although a bit inconsistent. My wife’s was loaded with all sorts of goodies and full of flavor. Whereas my mother’s was anemic with ingredients and the lesser of the two. So if you get gipped, I’d send it back for a do-over.

The French toast is also really good, soaked like a baller, dusted with confection and berries and hard to resist wolfing it down before anyone asks for a bite.

The only miss for me was the Belgian Waffle. It’s pretty pedestrian compared to the other options.

As for dinner, I haven’t actually been yet. Only for drinks, but watching some of the dishes go by, I have very high hopes.

Citron

4040 Central Florida Pkwy. Orlando, FL 32837(407) 393-4621grandelakes.com/Citron-79.html

citro2

While it may be located in a JW Marriott, everything about it screams same old Marriott food you’d expect. The décor is over-sized, underwhelming and it felt dirty when we entered by the simple fact that where they sat us, we were literally surrounded by about a half a dozen un-bussed tables.

Then, of course there’s a buffet, which is overpriced and nothing special. So we tried to be clever and ordered a la carte- which is usually the best bet in my experience, but alas it turned out to be a la pointless, because the food was basically the same shit they serve in buffet bins at twice the price.

For example, I had the eggs benny, coming HIGHLY recommended by our waiter who said it was the best thing on the menu. Eggs from farm raised chickens, country ham from their own pigs, etc…

Now, I warned him that I am a bit picky about my eggs benny, but he assured me it was amazing… Well, as you can probably guess from my set up, it was just about the WORST eggs benny I have ever had. It tasted like it came out of the wrong hole in the chicken. That or it was a frozen Weight Watchers dish reheated. Seriously. Freezer burn was definitely the predominant flavor. The only saving graces were the home fries and the fact that the eggs were runny, as they should be. But so disgusting I would’ve sent them back had I not been in such a rush.

The other thing we got were the Belgian waffles which I was assured were good by my mother, but from the looks of them I was skeptical and decided to cut my loses until later when I grabbed a KIND bar to eat, just to get the taste of freezer burn out of my mouth.

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The Grill at Silverado

1600 Atlas Peak Rd. Napa, CA 94558 • (707) 257-0200 • http://www.silveradoresort.com
 
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As I walked into the dining room of this country club restaurant, my skeptical taste buds were already rolling their little taste bud eyes, because the vibe of the place was very dated and our server came off as a dowdy diner waitress.

Nonetheless, they were conveniently located in my hotel, so me and my skeptical taste buds pressed on. And I’m glad we did. Not that things were amazing, but they did surpass expectations, albeit those were very low.

For example, no fresh squeezed juice for breakfast, but at least the organic option they served wasn’t half bad. And while the eggs benny was a touch over-cooked, a big pet peeve of mine, they were still pretty darn tasty, much to my surprise.

But if you wanna talk surprises, the morning angel was truly the Belgian Waffle. Among the best I’ve ever had. Far surpassing actual Belgian restaurants that specialize in Belgian Waffles such as Petite Abeille in New York. So what made them so incredible you ask? They were airy, with deep squares that soaked up the pure Vermont Maple like a sponge of breakfast-y dreaminess.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting you make a special trip for this waffle, but if you happen to be staying at the hotel or playing a round of golf here, you could most certainly do worse.

3 teeth