On Sunday, our last and final day in the big apple, we headed in the direction of JFK, more or less, and ended up at Rustic L.E.S. (Lower East Side). A very literal whole-in-the-wall kind of place, the seating is minimal and does include elevated bar stools and a coveted window spot. It is a no reservations, first come first serve situation, but the reward for being early or waiting is delicious.
As it so happens we were the very first people to show up for brunch, so we went for the bar. We got a bottle of champagne that turned in to mimosas when our server added just a splash of orange juice, and the food was actually a 50/50 decision. The boys, Jonathan and my Dad, thought that that the Apple Cinnamon French toast with crème fraiche sounded amazing, and my mom and I went for the Moroccan Breakfast. My other choice would have been the lamb burger as I almost always choose the burger wherever I go because I am on a mission to eat all the best burgers out there. However, on this occasion I went for a more traditional breakfast dish, and it was amazing. A Moroccan breakfast consisted of lamb merquez (sausage), stuffed oven roasted tomatoes, bean stew (baked beans), and a fried egg on top, with slices of baguette on the side. The flavor of the sausage was out of this world. It tasted like a Moroccan market: full of spices and herbs; and combined with a little egg and beans it really comes alive. It is well-rounded dish that covers all it’s breakfast bases.
The Apple Cinnamon French Toast was, of course, pretty much a desert, a little too sweet for me in the morning, but deliciously executed. I had more than a couple of bites. As you would expect, it was a bit like eating doughy apple pie. The few bites I had were enough to satisfy my sweet tooth, but if French Toast is more up your alley as a meal I would definitely recommend this one.
Jonathan and I also had our luggage with us when we showed up since we were going directly to the airport afterwards and they were very nice about letting us bring everything inside. It also helped that it was a quiet brunch to start with, so we weren’t disturbing anyone. At one point we also taught the waitress/bartender how to properly open a champagne bottle because she almost took us out with an errant cork, but we didn’t hold it against her. Tip: slowly twist the cork out to release the pressure.
I should mention as well that we had a basket of the beignets and coffee to start with and it was a great way to take the edge off: a little something sweet and some necessary caffeine for me. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I need some coffee to function most days.
We finished up and headed to the airport most satisfied. I definitely want to go back for dinner and try their Lamb Burger with Duck Bacon.
124 ridge street at stanton
new york, ny 10002
Sunday, Tuesday & Wednesday: 5:30pm – 10:30pm
Thursday-Saturday: 5:30pm – midnight