I just found my new favorite brunch place. This is saying something in the oversaturated, overindulgent market in New York. Just ask the New York Times.
While I won’t go as far as to say Brunch is for Jerks, like that particular jaded columnist, sometimes I get annoyed waiting with the masses for Saturday night’s leftover protein du jour smothered in hollandaise and some bastardized version of a Bloody Mary. I do not like my Mary tainted with tequila or smothered by a cheeseburger garnish. Puh-lease.
Cookshop is a breath of fresh air. Located in west Chelsea opposite the Highline, with outdoor seating, you can’t ask for a better location, and around this time everyone is out in their springtime pastels deliriously giddy at the prospect of a +55 degree morning.
Holidays are no time for restraint in my book, so we started with an “appetizer” of apple ricotta beignets, so light and fluffy it was like eating spiced clouds. I’m pretty sure they should jar and sell their homemade applesauce so I can eat it with a spoon whenever I want.
The “Pickled Mary” is everything a Bloody Mary purist with a penchant for pickles could ask for: spicy, concentrated tomato flavor, lemony bright finish, a faint brininess and appropriate garnishes. Hallelujah. (You can, however get a BLT Mary or a Mexican spiced variety if you’re so inclined, but I will judge you.)
Our waiter was so genuinely friendly that I forgive him for lying and saying the poached eggs would be too small a dish to share. It’s fairly substantial, but delicious. Earthy roasted oyster mushrooms and wilted spinach make a fine bed for perfectly poached eggs and a smattering of gremolata that perk up your taste buds. Up until now my relationship status with grits has been “it’s complicated.” Always so satisfying in the moment; always sits like a brick in the stomach later. These cheesy grits are somehow creamy and rich while remaining almost as light as the beignets. Thank you, Cookshop wizards.
I’m already counting down to when I can return and try the cornmeal-jalapeno griddle cakes with tangerine curd and maple pecans. Who’s with me?