Sarabeth’s: A True Brunch for Bonafide Brunch Lovers
Sarabeth’s is renowned in New York for its brunch, and in my opinion, for good reason. I have frequented Sarabeth’s on multiple occasions, always on the weekend, and always for a brunch/lunch. Originally started as a bake shop, Sarabeth’s has expanded to multiple locations and into a full-service restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Although the original location was on the Upper West Side, I have only ever been to the 59th Street iteration, just across from the Entrance to Central Park and next to the Plaza. In nice weather, the prime seating is on the sidewalk (mostly because of the phenomenal people-watching); however, the restaurant inside is actually quite expansive, with a crowded front room and a more spacious back room. The atmosphere is comfortable and homey, with little flashy decor and no pretention (at least in the design). Bright windows open up to Central Park South and the back rooms are flooded with light. Sparsely used zebra print fabrics and pistachio colors add punch to the modern/art deco vibe.
Because of its ritzy location, the Sarabeth’s just off 5th avenue tends to attract a very well-heeled and often disappointingly snooty crowd. Beware of the over-sized Chanel and Hermes handbags that seem to take up as much space as a small child – they are worn with little mercy and I can’t count the number of times I’ve been gently shoved out of the way to make room for such totes. Mostly groups of women, couples, and families with young children, the crowd is diverse only in its colors of Tods loafers and brand of polo shirts.
However, despite the slightly obnoxious clientele, the food is consistently delicious, particularly at brunch. The menu offers a variety of fresh fruits and cereals as well as a several variations on omelettes, french toast, and pancakes that are to die for. Lunch items are also served, including a truly scrumptious lobster roll, a gigantic burger, and a ‘modern’ Cobb salad with lobster, shrimp and crab. My recommendations? If you’re in the mood for breakfast, definitely check out the Fat & Fluffy french toast, which is exactly what it sounds like, or the Lemon and Ricotta pancakes with fresh berries, a dish that pretty much defines decadence. For lunch, the lobster roll is top notch, essentially overflowing with lobster, light on the mayo, and served in a toasted buttery roll.
Sarabeth’s has reached legend status in New York, and thus, is constantly packed. Be prepared for long waits on weekends and at peak hours. But, there is a reason why so many people stand waiting in a cramped room for the brunch – it is divine and consistently so. The service is quick, but you’re allowed to languish over your meal without pressure to move.
Sarabeth’s is my go-to brunch place because I know that no matter who I take there, whether its my mother, my boyfriend, or my best friends, we will all enjoy it. It’s success is well-warranted and look for its new locations in Lord & Taylors!