Monday, 4 July 2011

Leisurely Saturday Brunch

Applewood smoked salmon with creme fraiche and arugula

On Saturday we had brunch at Craftbar, a restaurant near the Flatiron building. We'd heard it was usually packed by noon so we arrived half an hour early to discover we had the dining establishment all to ourselves.

Frittata with Piquillo pepper, mozzarella and arugula
We got a prime table by the window so we could do some people watching and perused the menu; every dish seemed delicious. making it difficult to decide what to eat.

I tried the applewood smoked salmon with creme fraiche, marinated red onions and toast with arugula and a giant caper ($15) which was light and refreshing. Also had the Irish oatmeal, steel-cut oats ($8) that takes forever to cook, and it was chewy and hearty.

(l to r) Strawberry prosecco, mango and rhubarb sorbets
The brioche pain perdu ($13) or french toast was a tad too sweet which we couldn't quite finish, though the Spanish-style frittata ($13) made with three eggs, Piquillo pepper, mozzarella and arugula was filling. Another winner was white anchovy bruschetta with a soft cooked chicken egg, lemon aioli, and leek confit ($11) that had a great combination of flavours.

We decided to try a selection of sorbets ($4 each), and we all enjoyed the rhubarb that wasn't too sweet, mango, a pretty straight-forward taste, and then strawberry prosecco, that only had a hint of the Italian sparkling wine.

Even though I was facing the window, I didn't notice the stream of diners coming in so by the time we left the restaurant the place was over half full.

Stalls set up for the Green Market at Union Square
Afterwards we wandered a few blocks to Union Square where the Green Markets or farmer's market is held on the weekends. It was wonderful to see numerous stalls carrying fresh vegetables, a variety of carrots that were white, orange and purple, onions still connected to the stalk and all kinds of salad greens to choose from.

There were also stalls selling honey, fresh fruit juices, seafood, and artisanal cheeses. It was wonderful seeing people pick up fresh vegetables and support local farmers. If only Hong Kong had something similar. I've heard some local farmers in Hong Kong sell their goods along the passageway to the Central piers, but not everyone goes by that direction. If only there could be a more coordinated effort and that could encourage the farmers to make better use of their fields.

Get all kinds of vegetables here
Craftbar
900 Broadway
New York, NY
212 461 4300
www.craftrestaurant.com

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