Sometimes its good to try something new and get yourself out of the everyday norm that has become your food situation. Especially when it comes to the variety of foods you can have for the ever popular event that happens all throughout New York City- weekend brunch. With so many different options out there, including cuisines and locations, it can be hard to find something that best suits you and your palate. If Greek, however, comes to mind when it comes to a cuisine that sparks your interest, you really should try Nerai located in Midtown East on East 54th Street between Madison and Park Avenue.
Midtown East is already such a beautiful part of Manhattan with several areas that you can find yourself in to appreciate why this is the best city in the world. Nerai is another great example of this particular location. The place itself has a very calming presence with stunning architecture including fantastic floors and walls that exemplify the Greek lifestyle. I prefer settings like this for brunch rather than your run of the mill location that can tend to get loud and rowdy where it should really be a place for you to recooperate from the late night that you had before. I was also very impressed by the professionalism from the staff themselves, who kept me and my friend satisfied throughout the entire meal. This part alone made the experience that much better.
Of course you can’t go to brunch without talking about the food itself! I was quite impressed with the spread they gave us which of course had a Greek vibe and taste to it. They have a great assortment of the usual cocktails you can have for brunch however if you wanted something Nerai-specific I would go with the Greek Island Ice Tea with Linden Honey and Lemon. Sweet and goes down really well all together. For starters I would recommend the Grilled Octopus with chickpeas, onions, capers and roasted red peppers and the Spinach Pies with spinach, feta and ouzo yogurt . Two great starters that definitely had that Greek kick to them, in particular the pies with its yummy yogurt and the Octopus which was cooked to perfection.
For mains, I would go with one savory and one sweet. For savory, the Maine Lobster Benedict with a poached egg and lobster hollandaise and the Tsoureki French Toast with bananas and seasonal berries will definitely fill you up in the best way possible. The Lobster and hollandaise really bring that particular dish together and I really fell in love with the french toast as the berries and bananas on top really made it taste that much more scrumptious. Each of these options comes with a Bloody Mary, Mimosa or Persephone, so there is an added incentive- alcohol!
To finish the meal with something sweet (which I always recommend) I would go with the Lavender Mousse with pineapple, lavender honey and pecans and the Fiji Apple Bougatsa with semolina custard and cinnamon. I loved the shaved pineapple with the mousse as well as how sweet yet filling the Bougatsa really was. Overall, a 10 out of 10 in my book.
For more information on Nerai, please check out their official site. Happy eating everyone!