Two CHOW editors on a caloric extravaganza exploring innovation, novelty, and deliciousness. RSS
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Brit Breakfast in High Victorian Style at the Breslin

Ever wonder why hotels are so cheesy looking and play Muzak and generally seemed geared toward some sort of style and age bell curve? If you haven’t checked out the Ace Hotel chain, which is part of what a friend calls the “Young People Revolution,” it’s worth a peek. Their outpost in Palm Springs apparently gives out caftans for the pool rather than robes.

The Midtown Manhattan location is swathed in Victoriana, with a case of taxidermied birds, old-fashioned tile floors, a Stumptown coffee bar, and the Breslin: a British gastropub-style place where we met Tanya Steel of Epicurious for a delightful breakfast.

Started by the same team behind the phenomenally successful meatpacking district restaurant the Spotted Pig, the Breslin offers traditional English food. For breakfast, that means things like hot-cross buns, rhubarb-topped yogurt, sausage, bacon, and eggs in a cozy, antique atmosphere. We were surrounded by bronzed stag heads and cut-glass panels; it was so dark we had to use the flash on our camera, even at breakfast. Our server, a Williamsburg-style dude with shaggy hair and nerd glasses, told us we couldn’t use our flash. (First place on our entire trip that forbade the flash, by the way.) So we couldn’t take any pictures of the food – sorry!

Roxanne ordered a chilled half grapefruit with mint and ginger, which was good but not sectioned up very well, and the curried lentils with a soft-boiled egg and thick, grilled toast. This dish was delicious: firm lentils, tiny slices of red chile, and chips of almost candied garlic. I had lemon ricotta pancakes with blueberry syrup that came pre-poured on, and a praline topping that was like granola. It wasn’t too sweet, and the pancakes were nice and fluffy. Tanya only had a smoothie, because she had to eat a hamburger right after that for some lunch. The joys of being in the food media biz.

Much has been made of New York finally getting good coffee after years of being behind the West Coast curve, and we agree: It really is nice to have some strong, clean brew via Stumptown. Luckily, the Ace is right around the corner from our hotel. I imagine that a stop here will be our morning ritual when we’re in NY. We’re excited about the reservations we just made for nouveau Belgian restaurant Resto. Looking forward to some good beer (we missed that in LA!) and food that’s made to go with it tonight.