Tag: French

Le brunch in Bay Ridge

Sunday, March 30th, 2008 | All Things, Eats, Friends

With warm weather just around the corner, we found ourselves back in Bay Ridge for brunch.

LC suggested Saint Germain, a très French bistro on Third Avenue, which had received some good word of mouth from the locals. The location has been home to a series of French bistros, beginning in 1999 with Le ZaZou, to Provence en Boite (which relocated to Smith Street in Carroll Gardens) before hitting upon its current incarnation. The cozy restaurant is a popular brunch spot — no wonder: the prix fixe is an excellent value, offering choice of entrée, coffee or tea, plus orange juice or Lorina sparkling pink lemonade, and a fancy dessert, all for $16.95. Our party of four waited about twenty minutes for a table, which gave us plenty of time to consider the myriad pastry options in the glass display case up front, and to ponder what exactly goes into Saint Germain’s specialty “Brigitte Bardot” cocktail. (Answer: lemon vodka, triple sec, and that sparkling pink lemonade. What, no St-Germain?)

For better or worse, our experience felt truly Parisian: beyond leisurely, the service ranged from benignly neglectful to maddeningly slow. After making our selections from the brunch menu (the usual egg dishes, croque monsieur, crêpes, French toast, croissanwiches), we waited another twenty minutes for someone to take our order. The entrées, when they came, were quite good, though I would have enjoyed my Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict more with the cup of coffee I ordered… which did not come despite two requests. (Each time we asked for our drinks, the waitress would cheerily respond, “Sure!” and continue merrily along, unfazed.)

When at last we got our coffees and teas with dessert (pictured below, my apple pastry and HH’s chocolate mousse dome), they came poured into too-hot-to-handle glass tumblers. No explanation or apology given, but we deduced that the kitchen must have run out of their usual white cups, though I noticed about half a dozen used ones sitting on yet-to-be-cleared tables around us.

On the bright side, the slow service gave us plenty of time to catch up. Back on the sunny streets after our two hour brunch, we noticed an inordinate amount of bright green gear on the livelier than usual crowds spilling out of the Irish pubs. When we passed a group of kilted bagpipers, we knew something was up.

It seems we’d just missed the Bay Ridge St. Patrick’s Day Parade, a procession which began at St. Patrick’s R.C. Church (not Cathedral) and proceeded along (Brooklyn’s) Fifth Avenue to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Basilica. Beleaguered Kings County DA Charles “Joe” Hynes served as Grand Marshal for the post-St. Patrick’s Day tradition, which began in 1994.

Next up: Bay Ridge’s 17th of May Norwegian Day Parade, which will be held this year on Sunday, May 18.

Back at DK’s home, after reruns of “Mythbusters” and the “Hawaii” episode of the Travel Channel’s 1,000 Places To See Before You Die, we amused ourselves with a spontaneous digital cable version of “Name That Tune.” The years may pass, but some songs are just seared in our memories.

Elsewhere in BK… Flickr preview: Greenpoint weekend (April 12-13, 2008)

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