Happy Cooking


The wait staff always knows best.

I am always in search of brunch buddies.

Luckily this weekend, there was no shortage of buddies to choose from – in fact I had a companion for almost every meal of the day – something I consider a success in my book.

French Press Coffee (Stumptown) | $9

I was fortunate enough to have a friend from the Bay visiting me for the second weekend in a row. She chose Joseph Leonard for our Sunday breakfast.

We arrived early as I knew this was a relatively popular West Village brunch spot with few tables (but a relatively large bar) and were pleased to find that it was mostly empty.

As we sat down, our waitress came over, chatting with us about daylight saving time and how early we were coming in for breakfast, and taking the time to explain the menu. She was extremely friendly and knowledgeable about the menu, and was one of the reasons why our meal was fantastic (other than great food or great company).

Stumptown Coffee (with sugar cubes!)

We were overwhelmed by the number of delicious choices to choose from (and we really wanted to try the monkey bread), but knowing that a) it was quite early in the morning and b) that I would be eating not too long after this meal, we knew we had to restrain ourselves.

We ordered coffee, which was presented in a beautiful stainless steel french press with two cute coffee cups. The coffee was Stumptown. It was delightful, strong, and did just the trick. Unfortunately they only had cream. My lactose-intolerant-self somehow managed.

Saucisson a l’ail (with comped fresh fruit) | $16 (normally +$6)

For our actual breakfast, we both decided on the saucisson a l’ail – a pork and garlic sausage, fried eggs (sunny-side up), and their infamous house-made hashbrown with creme fraiche and arugula.

Now I admit that I am not the biggest fan of hashbrowns. In fact, my friend I originally requested that the hashbrown be substituted for fresh fruit on both our plates (I was expecting an IHOP or Denny’s-style hashbrown).

The waitress seemed distress at our request, not because it would be particularly difficult to substitute the hashbrown for fruit, but because the hashbrown was one of the items they were known for. She described the hashbrown to us and suggested that we could order fruit on the side.

Saucission a l’ail (Pork and Garlic Sausage) | $16

It’s an understatement to say that our breakfast at Joseph Leonard was well-worth it and extremely enjoyable. The food was delicious and fresh, the waitstaff was attentive, pleasant, and extremely helpful, even when the restaurant started to get busy, and we didn’t end up getting charged for the fruit. The only disappointment was that we didn’t get to try the monkey bread.

But no worries, we will be back for that monkey bread.

Where is your favorite breakfast spot in New York?


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