When it comes to food experiences in New York City, few are as grand and amazing as the equivalent to an actor winning an Oscar or a singer winning a Grammy. I found that experience at the Waldorf Astoria, where myself and a friend dined at their historically known Sunday Brunch. It was held at Peacock Alley, located inside and towards the back of the famed hotel, and to say that they come prepared for the masses of this is a huge understatement. I had first gained notice about the brunch upon watching a Brunch segment on WNBC’s “New York Live” where Peacock Alley was one of the three featured. After doing some extensive research on other sites, I knew that this was something that I had to review for so many different reasons. How do you navigate the entire brunch? Can you pace yourself while doing so? What should I try and what should I avoid, if anything? What new foods at Peacock Alley haven’t I tried that I should? All of these were answered upon my exit yesterday. Here is the review.
The Waldorf Astoria alone is grand in so many different ways. From the looks of it outside, to the decadent stairwell and entrance, it it similar to a hotel version of Grand Central. Open space, beautifully done walls and floors and hospitality at its best, the look of it alone is very inviting upon your first step inside. Peacock Alley had a very dark and warm feel to it, with beautiful carpeting surrounding the buffet itself where onto the side has a more bright feel to it, with spacious tables and a fantastic piano player and singer to really keep the mood energetic yet toned down at the exact same time. Reservations for Peacock Alley are between 10-2pm, something a bit different from how many other Manhattanites do when their brunches start at 2 instead of ending then. Nevertheless, I made sure I had my game face on and came hungry and prepared for what me and my friend were about to feast on.
When it comes to navigating the Sunday Brunch at Peacock Alley, I would highly recommend each person does at least one to two walks around the space to really get a feel as to the entire package that they present. It is sort of reminiscent to happy hour at a good wedding- there is a lot to choose from. You have one section that is strictly soups and salads, with a section sanctioned off for their infamous Waldorf Salad that is known internationally. The Maine Lobster Bisque is one that I would recommend trying as it really has a great creamy flavor that is developed throughout. The Waldorf Salad is already spoken for, as it is, and I quote “The Bomb” according to my friend.
After you take care of the S&S you will find an assortment of cheeses and fine meats to accompany crackers, which are good to have as a starter for your brunch experience on top of the freshly made muffins and bagels which sits next to them. If you are in full breakfast mode at the Peacock Alley brunch, you will then see homemade pancakes and a variety of sausages, from chicken to pork. You can then proceed to the omelette station, that’s right, an omelette station, where the fantastic chef’s can hook you up with a delicious omelette made for your liking. This was one of the highlights overall at the brunch itself.
Right next to the omelette station you will find the carving board, which prepared a variety of perfectly cooked meats, my favorite being the pork tenderloin. This can be accompanied by the fall vegetables in a butter sauce and a delicious ravioli to go along with. The dessert is next to that, however I am saving that for last as I need to build up my list of adjectives to describe the epic awesomeness that was. Something that was really the star of the show was the assortment of seafood that was available to the patrons of Peacock Alley. Endless jumbo shrimp, fresh lobster tails and an assortment of Salmon and Caviar really made this the stand out of the buffet in itself, mainly because this is where I believe you get the most bang for your buck. Having this at any other establishment on a repeat basis in one meal could cost a ton more than what Peacock Alley offers (more on that below) so if there is one thing you should load up on while you are there is the delicious seafood available at your disposal.
Now I for one am not the biggest sweet tooth, however the dessert options at Peacock Alley were absolutely stellar and incredible and besides the Omelette Station and assortment of seafood this is the best part of the entire meal. Two words- CHOCOLATE FOUNTAIN. Something I have only experienced a handful of times before but was insanely giddy when I saw that upon my arrival as it is such a versatile product in terms of what you can dunk in there. Sure, there is the typical fruit like strawberries, melon and pineapple that you can dunk, as well as marshmallows and what not. Me and my friend took a different approach. For Oktoberfest there were these huge soft pretzels right in the dessert area that screamed to me “DUNK THIS FOOL!”. To which I did. I mean, we’ve all had Chocolate Covered Hard Pretzels so why not see what the soft version was like? It was Heaven. My friend opted to spoon himself some of the chocolate lava on top of the breakfast treat BACON, which had a similar reaction upon entering his mouth. Quite the outstanding finish to the meal itself.
Overall, this was a 10/10 in my book. Everything from the look, hospitality, execution and taste was on point and I would highly recommend anyone taking their friends and family and trying this out as it really is a one of a kind experience. The pricing for the Peacock Alley Sunday Brunch is $98 per adult and $65 per child, children are considered ages 12 and under, anyone under 5 is considered complimentary. Please log onto the official site for more information.