One of my best friends on the island always joins me for Sunday brunch. We've tried several. My reactions are below. Does anyone have a favorite Sunday brunch spot?
On first glance, we thought this was the mother of all brunches. But, it turned out to be like a huge cruise ship buffet. Nothing had "that little something extra". Much of it was extremely bland. Main dishes were served in large hotel pans. People picked through the pans, until what you got on your plate was often not what was intended by the chef, but what remained after scavenging. Some items were replaced quickly, but other pans sat empty throughout the duration of our visit. Others had sat too long and burned to the bottom. The only "wow factor" was visual.
LE DOME -
Ah, twas a lovely brunch, but 'i fath, Le Dome is temporarily homeless, so they simply aren't an option. More expensive than most, but worth it.
This was actually the tastiest of the brunches we tried. A local crooner sang with a guitar at just the right volume. Items were brought from their menu two at a time, until you could eat no more. They bettered Le Dome on taste, creativity, and overall dining experience. I believe they were $29.95 including champagne or mimosa.
Slow service, a bar that had no tomato juice for bloody's, beverages that took over 30 minutes to arrive, undercooked and overcooked food, food arriving at different times, ingredients varying wildly from the menu description, and screaming children are my memories of their a la carte brunch. I hear that they have since stepped up their brunch (since last year). Any news?
WINDOWS (Divi Links) -
Brunch started well. The general gist is this: They have an open kitchen (which is why it was surprising that absolutely nobody in the kitchen was wearing gloves for food prep). The huge stacks of pancakes and crepes were pre-made. As the brunch went on, it became clear that all the food was pre-cooked, and plated to order, not cooked to order. Cold dishes obviously fared much better. Many items came out differently than described. One dish came with a small lettuce garnish, topped with a crushed potato chip (really? yes, really) instead of croutons. The snapper was not covered in pesto as described, but was instead sauced with a typical beef/red wine reduction. (Beef gravy on fish?) We watched the same dish arrive with beef gravy at the next table to confirm it was not a one-time error. Eggs Benedict were nicely cooked, but underseasoned, cold except for the Hollandaise. Most hot items were room temperature or colder, warmed only by whatever sauce was ladled on during plating.
The waiter asked if my companion wanted her tenderloin medium (which she did), but it came out cold and well done. Fish was rubbery in one case, cold and fishy (not fresh) in the other.
While most dishes were tapas sized, the mushroom soup (plenty of mushroom flavor, to its credit) was a large bowl of cream soup, and would have made a better demitasse. Curry sauce (on the grouper and other items) was underseasoned and very lightly flavored. Tuna tataki, while being tasty tuna sushi, was not a tataki. The quiche with mushrooms and leeks was a solid brick of egg, more like tamagoyaki (sweet omelette sushi), light on leeks and mushroom.
Music by the Eddie Samson trio varied from tasty cocktail jazz to lite Cuban funk that was louder than they probably realized, in a circular room with sound going everywhere. They are excellent players, but much of what they were playing was concert jazz, not background music for brunch.
Our favorite part of the meal was when I ordered Eggs with salmon, and the waiter said enthusiastically, "suhcromblay!" (What?). Finally, we realized he was trying to say "Scrambled".
Desserts, once again with different components than described on the menu, included Crepe with Cointreau Sauce (a cold, limp crepe that had obviously been sitting for hours, in a sickly sweet orange sauce that tasted more like marmalade than the Cointreau), a lime cheesecake (that was very heavy plain cheesecake, with a hard lime glaze on top of the cheesecake), a three-layered chocolate dessert (that turned out to be a pyramid of mousse, but only tasted of chocolate in the darkest layer) which had some processed coconut on the bottom that was not mentioned on the menu.
Service was attentive and professional. If you go, go early (brunch runs 11:30 - 2:30), and order your hot items FIRST, when they are still relatively freshly-cooked.