Stanton Social – LES, NYC

Great sharing dishes for brunch!

Review By: Andrea Gohlke –

Settling into NY takes a bit of skill and talent when you’re hailing from the left side of the country. This last week, I worked at deftly juggling the art of brunch. In Seattle we tend to think of brunch as the first thing you do on Sunday morning when you don’t have tickets to cheer on the Seahawks, or when the weather is so beautiful you can’t resist the opportunity to sit outside, especially since that window of sunshine is so fleeting. Brunching in NY is an art form. Noon brunch? Get outta here. I must have been looked at like I was crazy when I suggested that early hour. One figures that it’s enough time to hydrate, go for a quick run, spritz some cologne on, and get your booty to a seat. Not always the case in Manhattan. You have to bring your chutzpah and some sass, all while somehow appearing that you effortlessly rolled out of bed. Like I said, an artform.

At the end of the day my stomach truly doesn’t care what I look like and how I breeze into the restaurant. It just wants to be fed and Stanton Social hit the spot this weekend. My friend JV and I have been meaning to catch up and a nosh session is often the best way to go. What I love most about Stanton Social is that sharing family style is encouraged. There was no shame in our game as we listed about 8 items we could both eat, and then narrowed it down to 4 dishes. Try as I might sweets just don’t interest me as much. I am a happier eater when I have a savory palate across the table or next to me and JV fits the bill.

I love chitchatting as I peruse menus and of course nothing better complements the start of a brunch than Bloody Mary (or two). Then it‘s business time. My personal favorite of the day was the Potato and Goat Cheese Pierogies. The tartness of the goat cheese as it mingled with the truffle crème fraiche, made me wish that there were more than 4 on the plate. I also think it was the most artful presentation of the day. The caramelized onions were plucky and draped in the most appetizing manner. We followed that with the French Onion Soup Dumplings, which were placed in a subdivided servette. I loved that with the crouton attached all you had to do was tug on the toothpick, and you could pull the dumpling straight out of the pot and into your mouth. The concept is lovely, I think I was hoping the crouton would be a bit more flavorful and the cheese a bit more gooey. But overall, a great share item.

We segued from there to the Lobster Benedict, and the portion size was perfect. Hearty chunks of lobster and the spinach greens with the corn complemented the dish well. JV and I both like a bit more heat, and since the menu alluded to chipotle hollandaise we were expecting a bit more kick, but recognized too much might have interfered with the rich lobster flavor. And finally the chicken and waffles. Is there such thing as a dish being too clean? The dish itself is exquisite in its delivery, but I somehow think that chicken and waffles at high end establishments doesn’t work. You need some dark meat, dirty frying oil, and a whole lot of pep and flavor. While on paper it presents itself in the most mouthwatering way, JV and I agreed it was the dish with the least amount of wow factor. Not that we didn’t finish every bite…

There you have it. One brunch down, many more to go.

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