103 West 77th Street between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues
New York, NY 10024
When Stacy invited me to brunch at Dovetail with Jen and Courtney, I’ll admit that I wasn’t exactly chomping at the bit to go after perusing the menu online. In fact, I debated about turning down the invite, up until the morning of the proposed meal. But then I thought I should keep an open mind, and since Stacy’s been several times and highly recommends Dovetail, I’d figure I’d at least have a tale to tell (ha).
The decor is modernly traditional. It would welcome both the old moneyed Upper West Side set and the younger freewheelers. Bricks, metal. A discussion about Jen’s Barcelona chair was prompted by the furniture and setting. Professional and courteous service.
There’s only one choice you have at weekend brunch: the $32 prix fixe. The headings are copied directly from the brunch pdf on the website.
Sweet and Savory Breads
The squares were cheese breads, and I liked ‘em. There were also moisty cloud-like banana muffins and cornbread (circular lumps). I applaud the bread basket.
Canapes for the Table: Yogurt Parfait, Spring Onion Veloute, Cucumber Tea Sandwich, Salmon Tartare, Duck Meatballs
It was like an amuse bouche overload! In the top left corner, we had parfaits. Jen remarked that these would be super simple to make at home, and she was spot on. Just get some Greek yogurt, oats, honey, and sliced grapes (or other fruit), and you’re all set. Even if I could whip this up in my kitchen, I liked it. In the top right corner, we had white gazpacho. This had a very strong cucumber taste. There might have been beans in there, but they were overshadowed by the cuke. Next up, spiced watermelon. This was a miss in my book as I don’t like Indian spices with watermelon. Just…no. The cucumber tea sandwiches were as small as postage stamps and the flavor of lemon took priority. The duck meatballs were meat on sticks. Stacy and I concluded that the white gazpacho won the gold in this tournament.
Duck Lasagna (onions, parmesan)
The other brunch mains weren’t particularly calling out my name. I did mull over the crab Benedict which Stacy ended up getting and was kind enough to offer me a sample, but the spicy hollandaise was a turn-off. In my mind, I was picturing tomato sauce lasagna so colored me surprised when this was set before me. The sauce was balsamic-based, in fact. The more I ate, the more the duck lasagna grew on me. Quack.
Desserts: Linzer Cookie, Strawberries with Meyer Lemon Sabayon, Chocolate Cheesecake, Cinnamon Doughnut
I started on the right and ate my way left. The strawberries with meyer lemon sabayon were a sheer delight. Crumbles make any dessert better, wouldn’t you say? The lemon sabayon was all right, but looking back at it now, I don’t remember it very well which means it wasn’t a particular standout. No linzer cookie but oatmeal. Eh. Cinnamon donut, hey, it’s a donut. The chocolate cheesecake square/pool/volcano (mine had toppled over, spilling chocolate onto the donut) was filled with oodles of sugar but was rich and choco-tastic. So all in all, the outside desserts were my favorites.
My expectations met and exceeded, I bounded out happily but faded quickly in the oppressing heat. But then I checked out the nearby Greenmarket and perked up again. Mmm, tiny sweet sugar[y] plums.