Sunday Brunch: The Crooked Knife

In a continuation of my friend’s birthday celebration that took us to the Loopy Doopy Rooftop Bar at The Conrad and L’isola, my friends and I recovered from the night by enjoying a boozy brunch at The Crooked Knife. The restaurant has two locations in Manhattan, one at 232 W. 14th St and one at 29 E. 30th St. This review will focus on the latter location.

The food
From 11am to 4pm on weekends, The Crooked Knife offers a Boozy Brunch Special that includes one entree and a choice of either limitless Bloody Marys or mimosas (for two hours) for $34. Five different omelettes are on offer including their specialty Crooked Omelette (feta, asparagus, and cherry tomatoes) as well as The Cure (cured ham, brie, and brandied mushrooms).

Additionally, The Rest section of the menu features typical brunch fare like eggs benedict and french toast as well as The Hangburger (“jalapeno relish, chipotle mayo, pepper jack cheese and the usual suspects”). Two of my dining companions ordered The Hangburger and enjoyed the Crooked Knife’s take on a spicy hamburger.

From the omelette section of Crooked Knife’s menu, I ordered The Mexican, which usually comes with chorizo, jalapeno, red onion, and pepper jack cheese, but I opted out of the jalapeno. Still, the omelette was a little too spicy for my taste (although, I will acknowledge that I have a very low tolerance for any kind of spice). I was, however, pleased by the home fries, bacon, and fresh fruit that came along with the omelette and it was enough food to fill me up.

Although I’m not a huge fan of overly sweet breakfast foods–and typically go for more hearty fare like omelettes–I wish I had gone for The Crooked Crepe. The crepe is filled with strawberries, blueberries, and Chantilly cream, plus rolled in Nutella and toasted hazelnuts. I suppose I’ll simply have to return to try it!

The drinks
Since we had planned to go to The Crooked Knife specifically for its Boozy Brunch Special, my table of four ordered bottomless mimosas, which were the perfectly light blend of orange juice and champagne. Additionally, the mimosas were served by means of a pitcher on our table, so we were able to dictate how much we each drank.

In addition to the mimosas and Bloody Marys included in the brunch special, The Crooked Knife also has a full bar and offers an interesting, albeit short, list of specialty cocktails that could entice me back for a non-brunch visit.

The service/ambience
The Crooked Knife feels like a rustic sitting room, with antique-looking tables and chairs, plus fireplaces give the restaurant an incredibly cozy vibe. Additionally (and perhaps contradictory), The Crooked Knife has large front windows and outdoor seating, so the space also feels open and breezy. Of course, this is New York City, so the tables are a bit scrunched together, but no more so than at any other Manhattan restaurant.

As for the service, my friends and I had a reservation for our brunch outing, so we were seated right away. Additionally, we were told up front that the restaurant was understaffed that day. So, unsurprisingly, the service was not great. Our server was attentive at first; she took our drink order quickly, and returned to get our food order. But once we received our food, we didn’t see her for a long time and ended up needing to flag down a manager in order to get a refill on our mimosas. However, I’d like to return to The Crooked Knife during a normal day before truly judging the service here.

All in all, The Crooked Knife was a nice brunch spot with good food and good drinks, but because of the service and the rather steep price for the brunch special, it wouldn’t be my first suggestion.

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