Brunch has never quite caught on in London, so I always look forward to visiting a city where it’s as integral to starting the day as having a shower or brushing your teeth.New York is a city that not only enjoys a good brunch, but does it with style and confidence. Some say that the portmanteau was dreamt up by Punch magazine in the late 19th century as a Sunday meal enjoyed by “late night carousers”, while others cite it as a description of the late breakfasting/early lunch habits of New York news reporter Frank Ward O’Malley in the early 20th century.
So, it being Sunday and having caroused fairly late the night before, I hopped over the East River for brunch at Prospect in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.
The New-American restaurant/bar is all exposed brick and dark, brooding colours, with a wall made of reclaimed timber from the Coney Island boardwalk. From the egg-heavy brunch menu, I selected a B.E.L.T in a brioche bun minus the E(gg), with parmentier potatoes; and a Marmalade Fix (gin, lemon juice, syrup, marmalade, cava). My companion, also an egg refusnik, went for a flatbread with caramelised onions, rocket, bacon and a dusting of cheese – a light and crisp base layered with rich, sweet onions and thick, smokey bacon, washed down with the brunch drink-of-choice, a bloody mary.
And, as there was a birthday to be celebrated, the charming all-male staff whisked us up a plate of bite-sized blackberry jam donuts, pictured below, to finish us off.
As brunch is neither breakfast nor lunch, does that mean that you can have lunch afterwards? In New York, I think it does.