Sunday Brunch at The Corner Kitchen
Posted by eemilla on March 22, 2009
To round out our week of extravagance, we enjoyed brunch at The Corner Kitchen, and it was enjoyable. I was hoping to have more to choose from on the benedict or vegetarian side, but I was amazed by the grits. I love buttery, salty grits, and these grits were perfect in both areas. Neither flavor took over the dish, and when I added pepper with my heavy hand it was as if I made them myself. Bravo to our server, Katie, for asking me to taste the grits before she be brought over the extra butter I requested; I have had all too many servings of bland and boring or over salted and/or too heavily creamed grits, but I appreciate her thoughtfulness and knowledge of the food.
My honey ordered the biscuit bennie, and he was satisfied with it; however, after he was done he did regret eating the ham. His plate had a sliver of pineapple and a strawberry, which thankfully was not mentioned on the menu. Hollandaise is my favorite piece of brunch, so I do always regret not being able to order some take on the benedict. I had bagel and lox. The bagel was not in the league of Buddha Bagels; it was okay for a base, but it lacked the crustiness juxtaposed with a tender inside that makes a bagel a bagel. It was served with a nice wedge of cream cheese, a solitary slice of red onion, some tomato slices, and a few ounces of smoked salmon. The fish portion was balanced, but it needed more bite from the onion to counter the creamy richness. Raw tomatoes at this time of year are not my cup of tea, so I did not touch them.
As I was the driver last night, I was able to enjoy a few beverages for brunch. Mimosas are my stand-by unless I know the bloody mary mix is great, but I decided to try the peach bellini. I had a difficult time finding the peach flavor, so I enjoyed a mimosa nonetheless. With my meal I moved onto the stronger stuff in the form of my favorite summer time drink, a dark and stormy (half ginger ale and half dark rum in a highball glass with ice and a lime twist). I love ginger and dark rum, but there is also the sentimental associations: I first ran into this drink at the oh so wonderful Grand Cafe in 2006 when we recklessly waited to decide where our post wedding lunch would be held. Katie, our wonderful server and the bartender, wasn’t familiar with this drink so I gave her the recipe (omitting the highball serving glass), and she advised they make their own ginger syrup. The first one she made with half Meyers, one quarter ginger syrup, and one quarter soda water. I much preferred the drink without the soda water. On another note, they have the drink my husband as been searching high and low for since last summer: the John Daly. Although The Corner Kitchen calls it a High Tea, they are the same : one shot of vodka, one part iced tea, and one part lemonade garnished with a lemon wedge.
Speaking of the bar, it is a great place to sit when they have a wait for tables. It is a wide expanse so there is plenty of room for your drink, plate, silverware, and elbows. The sun porch area is the worst place to sit at a table because it has to have the highest number of tables per square foot, and the bar is noisy because of its proximity to the open kitchen (in the small space it also seemed to act as a cut through to the dish pit). If you do call to make reservations ask to sit on the right side or upstairs. If you have a party of six or more, you will likely sit in the nook across from the kitchen. The patio is nice to dine in if the weather permits, but you only want the sunroom on a slow night, unless you wish to dine at the bar.
My favorite thing about the dinner menu is that it changes every week, and although many of the same items recur it shows they care. The brunch menu we dined on is the same from fall 2008, so I guess most of the energy goes to the dinner menu changes. The wine list has a good number of by the glass options, and the prices are nice too (even if you buy the bottle). For example, one of our favorite sparkling wines for under $30 is the Cremant de Bourgogne, and The Corner Kitchen sell it for $28 (compare that to the overpriced The Marketplace who sells the split for $31 and the full bottle at $43).
Although we didn’t participate in the Chef’s Corner promotion, it was a great idea, and we were glad to support them on a normal business day.