Steak


Beast
638 Bergen St.
(at Vanderbilt Ave.)
Prospect Heights
(718) 399-6855

 

 

In Brooklyn, we treat brunch as if it were a high holiday. In other parts of the country (even other parts of the city) brunch is kind of a novelty — maybe something to do on Mother’s Day or a pre- or post-birthday party. But here in America’s fourth-largest city it’s a birthright.

The basic tenets of the meal are just — sleep late, eat a big meal, maybe get a little tipsy, certainly work up a good caffeine buzz, read the paper slowly, talk loudly. It’s an elaborate and secular way to worship something we highly value: our day of rest.

But the execution of the meal fails often, probably because of the overkill. Though they shall remain nameless here, I’ve been burned by bad Brooklyn bruncheries who rush you along, skimp on the coffee, over-poach the eggs to the point where they fall off the plate and bounce, and generally treat the food like a no frills Restaurant Week version of their regular offerings.

This is all why I’m so attracted to Beast on the weekends. Not only do they offer up great food during brunch but they understand why we like brunch to begin with.

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Tribeca-Light Tribeca Grill
375 Greenwich St.
(at the corner of Franklin St)
Tribeca
(212) 941-3900

 

 

 

When New York was young it was an engine and each neighborhood did its part to keep it running. Its fuel was the constant stream of goods from all over the world, arriving on ships in the excellent harbor to supply the growing millions. The middle step between the ships and the dinner tables was the little triangle-shaped parcel of land below Canal Street that we call Tribeca today.

The Washington Market sprawled along the river and the streets around it bustled with the secondary needs of industry — the warehouses, icehouses, mills, and food companies. Restaurateurs and regular New Yorkers wound through those narrow, cobbled streets to haggle and forage and prepare for each busy day of keeping everyone alive, and the whole neighborhood became known simply as “the market.” That was its purpose.

Everything always in flux, years tumble away and the city relentlessly reincarnates — some cities can’t weather the change that basic evolution brings but New York is always, sometimes defiantly, New York. Tribeca is very different now, but any evening’s walk to the Tribeca Grill, passing the loading docks where horse-drawn carriages once lined up to unload their wares and the steel awnings that once kept the rain off the piles of grain, reveals that this neighborhood, brand new and steeped in history, still speaks to the nature of the city — an eternal, clockwork system of business and life.

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