On a recent trip to New York City, I had the pleasure of experiencing a Sunday jazz brunch at one of the most romantic restaurants in New York: One if by Land, Two if by Sea. I had heard about the restaurant's popular weekend jazz brunch and it was on my wish list.
The ambiance was elegant and inviting. While the decor may have somewhat of an old boys club feel to it, which may not appeal to everyone, that masculine energy is balanced with the feminine touch of fresh-cut flowers and candles placed on the tables, and charming chandeliers. Perhaps this establishment is romantic in a cliché sort of way. But, I like it. I enjoy a place with an historic feel, as if one is stepping back in time.
"One if by Land, Two if by Sea," is rich with history. Located on Barrow Street, it is a landmark Greenwich Village 18th century carriage house that once belonged to vice president Aaron Burr.
The weekend jazz brunch is a great time to experience this place particularly because of the live jazz music, which is only on weekends. It did not disappoint.
My friend and I were seated in the dining room next to the windows with a wonderful view of the courtyard garden, which we managed to reserve in advance. The wait staff were wonderfully friendly and helpful. In fact, when they discovered I was traveling back to Toronto by overnight bus, an experience I set out to explore and write about, the staff thoughtfully packed a "take-away" bag for me filled with some of their delicious bread rolls for my long trip home.
As for the brunch menu, I ordered the strawberry brioche French toast, with rhubarb compote and vanilla anglaise. It was the best French toast I have ever had -- seriously ($14). Of course, a Sunday jazz brunch in such a sophisticated setting could not be complete without a refreshing glass of Prosseco ($10).
Other main dishes on the weekend brunch menu include: variety of egg dishes, pancakes, lobster roll, chicken caesar, ahi salad and steak frites. For dessert, be sure to try the caraibe chocolate ganache ($12). Vegetarians (that's me) might find the menu a bit restrictive, depending on how strict a vegetarian you are. I did ask for some minor adjustments to my dish and they were accommodating. Nonetheless, you are sure to find something satisfying.
The venue is also a terrific place for weddings or any other special occasions. There is the mezzanine that can accommodate a small group; and the party room that can be booked for private functions.
After brunch, when I was leaving, one of the managers kindly walked me (along with my suitcase) to the nearest subway station to ensure I would get there safely - and on to my next destination. I quite appreciated that.
Overall, I thought it was a fabulous experience.
Restaurant: One if by Land, Two if by Sea
Location: 17 Barrow St., New York City / (212) 255-8649 / www.oneifbyland.com
Ambiance: elegant, comfortable, inviting and not too loud.
Decor: historic boys club feel, balanced with the feminine touch of fresh flowers and candles on the tables. Nicely done.
Service: Friendly and helpful.
Live Jazz Music: Saturdays and Sundays only.
Jazz Brunch price range: starters - $6-21 / main - $13-18 / desserts - $8-12 / coupe d' amour - $10-13
Jazz Brunch hours: Saturday and Sunday, 11:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
Women traveling solo-friendly: yes.
Shannon's Rating (of 4 stars): ★★★★
*photo credit: courtesy of One if by Land, Two if by Sea.
Check out Shannon's Travel Bag: Travel Tips for Women, an occasional article series of reviews, tips and inspiration for women travelers.
This article was originally posted at www.ShannonSkinner.com.