Brunch at Irving Mill

March 26, 2009 | By | COMMENTS

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I love brunch but I’m always a bit perplexed when I arrive at a celebrated brunch spot–Prune, for example–and see crowds of people huddled outside, waiting desperately for eggs and pancakes and coffee, foods they can easily and much more cheaply prepare at home. Don’t get me wrong: a place like Prune can dazzle you with its brunch food, but at the end of the day, it’s brunch food and no brunch food–however spectacular–should require a one hour wait.

Which is why I’m delighted to tell you about the brunch I had a few weeks ago with my friend Lauren at Irving Mill, one block east of Union Square. The place is enormous, like a farmy banquet hall, and on Sunday at 12 noon it was almost totally empty, which should’ve been a cause for alarm. Instead, though it was a cause for celebration: Irving Mill serves a pretty killer bunch and the best part is, you don’t have to wait.

Here is a scene from our table, 10 minutes in:

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There’s coffee for me and a latte for Lauren and there in the middle of the table some zucchini bread. We were off to a good start and soon we ordered and the prices were pretty standard for brunch, in the $12-range, which is the most I think you should pay for eggs and pancakes and the like.

Let’s get to the good stuff. Lauren ordered an Egg White Soufflé w/Squash Salad & Pesto–look how happy it makes her:

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Let’s see that soufflé up close:

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That’s quite a looker isn’t it?

As for taste, I was wary of a big souffle of egg white–frankly, it sounded kind of boring. But with the pesto salad on top, it was bright-tasting and light and had a little kick from the garlic.

As for me, I ordered Cream of Wheat Pancakes w/Cranberry & Kumquat Compote:

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These were pretty spectacular and they were spectacular because of texture. Somehow, making the pancakes with Cream of Wheat rendered them crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle. The compote was zingy and chunky and a great topper.

When you have something so sweet for breakfast, you need something a little savory to cut it so we ordered Rabbit & Ratatouille sausage:

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This too was pretty excellent–they make the sausage themselves–sweet and meaty and a nice final touch to our meal.

What’s left to say? If you want to eat brunch in Manhattan and you don’t want to wait, go to Irving Mill. It’s lots of bang for your buck and requires nothing more than a nice walk through Union Square. Just don’t tell too many people or you’ll see me clustered outside in a few weeks looking sad and angry. And no one should eat brunch sad and angry–that’s just wrong.

P.S. I should also mention that they take reservations for brunch which is pretty rare in this fair city. It’s a good place to take your parents.

Irving Mill

116 East 16th Street

New York, NY 10003

T: 212-254-1600

Tags: , , , ,

Categories: Gramercy, Manhattan, New York, Restaurant Reviews

  • http://www.tooshytostop.com Laryssa

    Wow, looks great! I am a little bit wary of a giant fluffy bowl of egg whites too, but I’ll trust your opinion. Now I wish it was Sunday so I had an excuse to brunch. :-)

  • http://hungrybruno.blogspot.com Adrienne

    That souffle is beautiful! Souffle is one of the few things I’m nervous about trying to make at home, and now there’s no way I’ll be satisfied with anything less than that giant, savory marshmallow. Yum.

  • Linda

    Looks good…but you should try the brunch at Hells Kitchen in Minneapolis. Its fantastic. For my birthday I had the portabello mushroom eggs benedict, sausage bread served with homemade peanut butter, orange marmalade and ginger berry preserves and great coffee. Mmmmm Happy Birthday to me! Come visit when Spring arrives. http://www.hellskitcheninc.com/

  • http://pinotandpineapple.com/ Tracy

    Great review… I’ll definitely have to try this place. I really dislike waiting for brunch too so this place sounds terrific. Those pancakes look delicious!

  • http://pithyandcleaver.com maggie (p&c)

    Wow, a good brunch spot that takes reservations is very good to know about!

  • http://www.noblepig.com/ noble pig

    That is quite a looker! My goodness what a meal.

  • Marcy

    Lauren’s haircut is adorable!

  • http://www.travelingculinaryartist.com Chef Jim

    This is so funny, just told my wife to meet me at Irving Mill after work! It’ll be our first visit, didn’t really know they did brunch! Thanx for the review, hope the wines and small plates we plan to consume are good too!

  • http://whatilikenyc.blogspot.com Laura

    You are a saint…I cannot believe the wait times for brunch in this city so this is some much appreciated advice! My fallback is always Balthazar where the wait is surprisingly short but the bill is always surprisingly high, but this sounds like a more wallet friendly option.

  • http://www.savour-fare.com Kate

    Is that in the old Candela space? Brunch out is a New York institution. I love that it doesn’t even start until 12. I love that it’s socially acceptable to drink in the middle of the day. But that looks like good food.

    If you’re ever in L.A., let me know and I’ll hook you up with the place that gives you free sticky buns with brunch. THAT is good stuff.

  • http://www.theitaliandish.blogspot.com The Italian Dish

    Wow – so true about places like Prune. They’re great but waiting in line for an hour makes you miss other places which are good, too.

  • TOM

    Congratulations Adam -

    Let me congratulate you- AG was named 1 of 50 best food blogs in the world by the London Times (OnLine). Currently there’s a link to the article on Huffington Post.

  • http://www.bridgetcallahan.com Bridget

    Congratulations – I think you just made sure that dining room won’t be empty for brunch again :)

  • http://lifesafeast.blogspot.com Jamie

    Yum! That brunch looks like it was great! But that rabbit sausage looks wow! I will bookmark this address for my next visit.

  • http://chewonthatblog.com Hillary

    Both of your dishes look and sound amazing! I’m a huge Cream of Wheat fan so I would love to try the pancake version and that souffle was just plain beautiful!

  • http://comidaladob.wordpress.com Bernardo Annechino

    Veeeery nice and quite handy tip for the moment, since i am coming from Brazil to NY by the end of the month to celebrate my aniversary. One of the things me and my wife were looking up was a place to have a hearty breakfest the day after the celebration, wich is going to be at Per Se ;-))) And the last thing we need is a crowd.

    Keep twitting!

  • http://www.writeplayrepeat.com juliana

    My gosh, that looks beautiful.

    Irving Mill is going on my “To Eat At” list for the next time I’m in NYC, for sure.

  • http://cheekychilli.wordpress.com/ Chilli

    Brunch is one of my favourite meals to eat out. There’s something extremely luxurious about getting up late and going out to a possibly-anything meal. And I could wait in line for a really good one, like ‘Greens’ here in San Francisco. But I think my husband would agree with you entirely about the waiting bit.

    Thanks for a wonderful blog!!