My friends Peter and Val stopped by my apartment for brunch this past Saturday. I enjoy having friends over for brunch on the weekends. It’s a great way to start the day: I get up early to straighten up the house and clean; I cook a nice meal with friends; we all enjoy a leisurely meal with nice drinks; and we still have the rest of the day to enjoy.
I tend to make and gather an excessive amount of food for brunch. You can see Peter and I sitting before the brunch table. We enjoyed croissants, beignets, and French bread from Almondine, an assortment of jellies and jams, eggs benedict, grapes, melon and prosciutto, raspberries and blackberries, prosecco, bloody marys, coffee, and orange juice.
Eggs Benedict can be a bit difficult to make. The hardest part is trying to make sure everything comes together at the same time, especially when you are preparing the dish for multiple people. I’ve written about making Eggs Benedict before. One item I should note: fresh eggs are very important for this dish. Not only do they taste better, but preparing the poached eggs and Hollandaise sauce is much easier with fresh eggs.
Despite the challenges in preparing Eggs Benedict, it is worth it: this is a luxurious dish. It’s easy to make vegetarian- and kosher-friendly: just swap out the Canadian Bacon for cooked spinach (Eggs Florentine) or salmon. It’s not possible to make this dish vegan-friendly.
Well before my friends arrived at my house, I took a walk down to Almondine in Dumbo. The baker at Almondine is Hervé Poussot, formerly a pastry chef at Le Bernardin. The story of Almondine is that it was opened with Jacques Torres of Jacques Torres Chocolate. (His store is across the street.)
Almondine has the best croissants in Brooklyn if not all of New York City. The breads, pastries, and cakes are also amazing. I have only been to a handful of bakeries that compare to Almondine. If you are in DUMBO, I definitely recommend stopping by there, and if you are not in DUMBO, it’s well worth the trip.
Brunch with friends is always a lot of fun. I’ve made these dishes for other friends as well, and I’m always happy to have people over.
[Thanks Val for sending me photos of Peter and the food!]