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Sunday brunch recommendations?

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I'm meeting a couple of (American) relatives on Sunday October 3, and we'd like to go for brunch in LES/Soho/East Village.

We haven't met up for a few years. so I want a place where we can relax comfortably and talk (so no close-packed tables or noisy crowd) and also get a really nice meal :)


I have no idea what my relatives' eating preferences are, so I need to play safe ... maybe American or French or Italian. And of course I need somewhere that I can book at less than a week's notice.


The only easy bit is that price is not important <_<

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I discarded Maialino because of its very idiosyncratic and (to me) unattractive menu.


Balthazar got the vote, and I'm glad it did :)


Check-in was hectic - I guess about 20 people turned up at the same time and there wasn't much space to stand in while we waited for attention. But from there on it was all upward.


Very nicely thought out table for three - a small table on a corner banquette with one extra chair. A little crowded, maybe, but great for chatting. A cheerful and helpful server, exactly on that fine line between "proper" and "friendly".


We all loved the menu - my guests both had waffles with maple syrup and berries which looked a picture, and I had a superb dish called Eggs Norwegian which was two perfectly drop-poached eggs on a bed of smoked salmon on a toasted muffin (?) with a terrific hollandaise sauce. I couldn't resist a rhubarb crumble with ice cream for dessert, while my guests again showed that they were of a single mind by both ordering creme brulee which looked and tasted excellent.


Fresh squeezed orange juice and very good coffee, and a huigely impressive basket of breads completed the order, and the whole thing cost about $45 a person which I thought was excellent value.


We all found brunch at Balthazar an altogether pleasing experience :)

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