Happy New Year all, we hope that 2022 is off to a good start for you, and the best way to start a new day is with a breakfast dessert, of course! 🙂 To date, we have written four diary entries of of NYC’s best pancakes, yet only two for the breakfast dessert that is the French Toast. Oh no! Allow us to remedy this terrible neglect asap with the following third volume of scrumptious French Toasts for your brunch dreaming! Enjoy!
Sweet tower of joy
- Dessert destination: Kimika, Noho, Manhattan.
- Short and sweet story: Matcha Mochi French Toast ($17 + tip/tax). New-comer Kimika was probably one of the “hottest” brunch spot in NYC last year. Featuring Japanese-Italian fusion creations, Kimika infuses that same sensibility into its French Toast, a photogenic (if somewhat, petite) tower of mochi bread sandwiching a condensed milk spread, and floating in a moat of citrus syrup. Note that the matcha tones were not particularly pronounced. Probably the sweeeeeeeetest French Toast we have ever had, this one is guaranteed to put you on a sugar high.
An antipodean brekky
- Dessert destination: Sonnyboy, Noho/Lower East Side, Manhattan.
- Short and sweet story: Burrata & Fig Toast ($16 + tip/tax). Pre-pandemic, featuring avocado toast on a brunch menu was a guaranteed way to bring the crowds. That madness has become a little more subdued now, but we dare say, we think that there will be soon be a new generation of toasties featuring more than a green spread. Sonnyboy, a carefree cafe with an Australian-esque attitude, serves up one such new generation toast. Think chunky slab of sourdough layered with burrata, thin slices of fig, drizzled with hot honey, and a dash of sea salt and thyme….hmmm….
A mini-trip to Paris
- Dessert destination: La Grande Boucherie, Midtown Manhattan.
- Short and sweet story: Classical French French Toast ($26+ tip/tax). Like Japanese, Korean and Italian restaurants, there is no shortage of French restaurants in New York. And one of our reliable favourites has to be the Boucherie chain. La Grande Boucherie is the newest member of the family, and is located in what was once a dreary corridor in the middle of midtown Manhattan, now transformed into a splendid Parisian avenue, complete with leafy potted plans and outdoor cane furniture. Yes, the service is a little chaotic, and the tables are far too close together, but the food is…whether you come here for brunch or lunch or dinner, you cannot fault the food. At brunch, don’t bypass the pain perdu. Soft, luscious, crispy, sweet brioche, dripping in syrup and butter, thank the lord that it is now winter and we can hide the inevitable weight gain under thick coats 😛
- Dessert destination: Jane, Soho, Manhattan
- Short and sweet story: Vanilla Bean French Toast ($20 + tip/tax). For those times when you just want a good American breakfast, i.e. no fusion creativity, no millennial trends, Jane is a reliable bet. It doesn’t seek to reinvent the brunch wheel, and certainly, might even be considered by some as a little “boring.” But when you come here, you know you will walk away with a tummy full, a happy face and not a giant hole in your savings account, and isn’t that what a weekend brunch is all about? We love Jane’s French Toast, stacked high with strawberries and made of creme brulee batter. This is our type of winter comfort food.
Because you only live once
- Dessert destination: Maison Pickle, Upper West Side, Manhattan.
- Short and sweet story: Berries ‘n’ Cream Challah French Toast ($16 + tip/tax). If you are tremendously hungry, or looking for a buzzy place for a group brunch, Maison Pickle (or its sibling, Jacob Pickle) is an excellent choice. The attitude here is bigger, louder, crazier. The music is thumping, the food portions are gargantuan, and boy, given the crowds, it feels as though the pandemic was a hundred years ago. There are a variety of French Toasts on offer, and you can choose between a tub of butter and a bottle of maple syrup simultaneously poured over your toast, a whole fried chicken squatting on top of it, or for the french toast that we ordered, a veritable mountain of whipped cream and berries. You only live once, right?