In these times, Saturday and Sunday afternoons in the East Village are about the consumption of offbeat re-considerations of traditional brunches. I call your attention to the music paper thin breakfast lasagna at Belcourt, the breakfast pizzas at Grape and Grain, the European twists and turns at The E.U. , the urbanized regional dishes at Back Forty, and the neo-futurist presentations of Asian-American- Southwestern comfort food fusions at The Noho Star.
The ambiance at the newly relocated Hecho en Dumbo is clean and welcoming, and the food fresh, interesting, and well-presented. The prices are unusually pocketbook friendly for New York. They serve a daylong brunch with the option of a two-course prix fixe lunch for $10, which I ordered on my visit. I chose a wonderfully flaky bowl of rice which I dressed myself with a selection of spicy condiments. This I followed with a shredded chicken dish in a creamy mole sauce that was almost Asian in its flavors and textures, and, like the first dish, surprisingly light for Mexican fare.
Another option, if you’d like to go Greek, is Pylos, its ceilings bedecked with terra cotta pots. The food is rustic, as claimed, but served with a certain designer’s flair and often with a creative twist (such as their delicious artichoke heart moussaka). Such innovations are, I assume, courtesy of the well-known consulting chef and cookbook author Diane Kochilos. Pylos is so crowded in the evenings that it is difficult to “hang out” at, but they serve a great lunch or brunch and make you feel at home, saying hello to you personally and remembering your “usuals.” Not to be forgotten is a fantastic list of Greek wines, to which, until I began to frequent Pylos, I had never paid much attention.
My most recent discovery for American style brunch with a twist is Joe Doe, where one can choose between duck eggs and chicken eggs and wash down your selection with a “prepared beer.” One may either leave it at that or add a dessert such as honey custard accompanied by Turkish flatbread. I will leave to your imagination which of those options I took.