It would be hard to imagine a worse day to try out a brunch (any brunch) than Mother's Day; think of the pressure that any restaurant is under to perform then. Now, add to the storyline that this is the second Sunday they have ever been open to serve brunch. That was the tale Sunday at Sardine. We've been fans of Marigold Kitchen from the beginning and had some great dinners at Sardine from the week they opened, but it was with real trepidation that we accepted our daughter's invitation to try out their brunch on this busy, busy day. We asked only that she try to get an early reservation so we wouldn't get caught up in the inevitable and dreaded "Holiday Brunch Backup."
We needn't have worried. At 9:15 they were already filling up (and you could tell that they were fully staffed-up ready for the onslaught). We could see the kitchen was at full steam as we walked by to take our seats. The server was friendly and relaxed and knew his stuff. Our group had lots of items from the menu: Steak and frites, morel and ramps omelette, red grapefruit and avocado salad w/brie and crab and shrimp cakes with smoked bacon in a beurre blanc sauce. It was all top notch. Two special notes: 1) The kitchen has a way with greens and breakfast (perfected at Marigold) that really adds to the "brunch" atmosphere of a breakfast entree. 2) Perfectly poached eggs from a big kitchen are a trick under the best of circumstances; getting them in that rush deserves a tip o' the hat!
All said, we were out of there by 11 very full, and very satisfied. None of the fears came to pass. It will be fun to make our next visit on a Sunday when the place isn't totally full, but as good as it was on Mother's Day Sardine may be as regularly packed for brunch as it has been since it opened for dinner.
The only item I had hoped to see on the menu that was not there were the killer fried potatoes from Marigold. Otherwise, it was a home run from start to finish. It will be interesting to hear how folks later in the day faired.
Damn, it was good...
Where are you eating and what do you think? What's opening, closing, succeeding, failing?
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