Best of 2014


By Dane Feldman

At this point, it’s safe to say that one of my absolute favorite aspects of running Dish + Drink is running the Sunday Brunch segment each week. For me, brunch is not only a great time to recharge, but it also happens to be a meal filled with items I am almost always in the mood for. There’s a ton of room for creativity when it comes to brunch, which helps make it still exciting week after week after week.

The Wooden Spoon

Unfortunately I have not graced the Wooden Spoon with my presence in nearly a year, but this remains one of my all time favorite breakfast/brunch spots. There’s no alcohol, but the coffee is free flowing, the service is fantastic, and it is damn near impossible to find such an authentic, down to earth spot north of the Mason-Dixon Line to enjoy some eggs and biscuits.

Moonshine Modern Supper Club

Moonshine may not be anywhere near as down to earth as The Wooden Spoon, but the food is superb and each menu item is creative, yet still feels like comfort food. The service here is great, too, and an unlimited brunch cocktails offer means patrons can hang around for hours on end.

Watermelon Bites

When you’re not looking to dine out for brunch, but you’ve got more than just a few guests coming over, these watermelon bites are easy to make and are generally a hit. Just make sure you serve up plenty because these go quicker than the time it takes to put them together.

How to Poach an Egg

If you’ve got a hankering for eggs benedict, but can’t be bothered to change out of your pajamas, you ought to know how to poach an egg. The process has a reputation for being too difficult to master, but it is much simpler than it seems. Patience and good hands help, but even if some of the whites get lost in the pot, you’ll still have an egg poached well enough to serve proudly over an English muffin.

Veggie Cream Cheese

Sometimes, brunch just needs some bagels. But why serve store-bought plain cream cheese when you can spruce it up and serve fresh vegetable cream cheese instead? If you know how to finely chop vegetables and you know how to mix with a fork, you can handle this one.

Smoked Salmon Cucumber Bites

If you’re up to the task of making cream cheese, but don’t feel like finely chopping vegetables, you can serve these smoked salmon cucumber bites. Say goodbye to tea sandwiches, but you can keep the cucumber around.

Zucchini Walnut Cake

Those who have been following Dish + Drink for a while now probably know I don’t do much in the way of baking. Cooking allows for more freewheeling and experimentation, while baking is truly chemistry. I do my best to create and adjust, but baking just isn’t as enjoyable for me. Plus, if I bake a batch of cookies, I’ll eat the batch of cookies. This zucchini walnut cake, however, is fun enough for me and plenty delicious.

Chorizo and Sweet Potato Hash

There are no words to describe how much I love this recipe. It has everything; it’s spicy, sweet, and savory all at the same time and, though it requires a handful of ingredients, it’s plenty simple to cook and makes for an absolutely beautiful plate of food. I used fresh zavory peppers because they were still growing in my garden at the time, but any hot peppers you can find in a market are likely a perfect fit.

Community Food & Juice

Okay, enough with the cooking for a minute, right? If you’re feeling exhausted from all of the cooking going on during this holiday season, this spot is the place to be. Community Food & Juice offers a fantastic brunch menu, deliciously boozy brunch cocktails, and great service. In yet another New York City neighborhood of great places to eat, Community still manages to stand out among locals.

Poached Egg Toast

By now you’ve read up on how to poach an egg, so this recipe shouldn’t seem daunting at all. It requires just six ingredients (five, if you can’t stand spicy foods) and the only cooking necessary is the poaching of two eggs. What I like best about this recipe is that it requires a minimal amount of fuss, but even when I eat this alone it provides the maximum amount of brunch vibes.

Whip up a batch of mimosas and get started before the year ends. Happy brunching!