We all know by now that brunch is big to-do in the city, but sometimes you don’t wait to deal with having to wake up early and beat the rush or waiting a couple of hours to get seated at the really popular brunch spots. Every now and then you want a place that will give you the same delicious food and great ambiance that’s perfect for lounging around and chatting with friends on a weekend morning minus all the fuss. East End Kitchen was that perfect solution for me.
Located on 81st and East End, East End Kitchen is right by the East River and the lovely promenade that stretches along it. If you do by chance go when there is a wait, feel free to put your name down and take a stroll along the water because the restaurant will get your number and call you when a table is ready. I absolutely love how places are implementing this now so you don’t have to awkwardly linger outside and wait for your name to be called, which is fine if it’s 15 minutes but not so fun if it happens to be in the 2 hour range or something.
The interior of East End Kitchen is lovely and rustic. The space seems light and welcoming, with wood floors, light wooden chairs and tables, and charming, small hanging lights. The brightness of the inside is a nice change from other trendy restaurants where everything seems to be dark and moody.
Brunch is offered on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 AM to 3 PM and you get your choice of a complimentary cocktail between a bloody mary, mimosa, orange juice, coffee, their SerendipiTea, or their speciality house cocktail, Maplejack Apple Pie. While they offer traditional brunch fare like omelettes, eggs benedict, and pancakes, they also have some unique items like the Brunch Pizza, which comes with tomato basil sauce, mozzarella, parmesan, bacon, and two eggs of any style; the Green Eggs and Ham, which is scrambled eggs, arugula pesto, and black forest country ham; and the House-Made Waffle “Sundae,” which is Greek Yogrut or ice cream with berries, caramelized bananas, and a wild raspberry sauce.
While I’m always in favor of savory foods over sweet ones, I really thought hard about ordering the East End Lost Bread which is french toast with vanilla bean custard, berries, caramelized bananas, and maple syrup. After much debate, savory won out again and I ordered the Smoked Salmon Scramble which came with caramelized onions, chive cream cheese, roasted potatoes, and toast.
People who’ve known me for a long time are always shocked when I order eggs. Growing up, I absolutely DESPISED them and couldn’t even be near them because the smell of them alone made me want to gag. Well, I’m pleased to announce that I’ve grown up…just a tad. I’ll eat omelettes, frittatas, and scrambled eggs every now and then, but you won’t see me with poached or sunny-side up eggs or any of the like. I guess it’s something about the yolks? Or maybe the kinds of eggs I like remind me of cheese? I know, I’m so weird. ANYWAYS…I LOVED the scrambled eggs. I think the chive cream cheese really did it for me because it was incorporated beautifully into the eggs and added a really luxurious texture and taste to the scramble. And it was nice change to have some salmon in the mix as well.
Besides brunch, East End Kitchen also has other weekly specials like Mussels night on Wednesdays where you can order from 15 varieties of mussels from Mediterranean to Thai to Provencal for $22 for a full order and $11 for a half order. Then every night besides Mussels Night they offer a prix fixe dinner menu with a starter, entree, and dessert. I also believe there is a night with half price bottles of wine and a Sunday evening deal where you can get an entree and a beer for $17, but I’m not 100% on those. While I’m definitely sold on their brunch now, that Mussels Night is really calling out to me. Looks like I’ll be seeing you again soon East End!
Smoked salmon scramble
539 E 81st St.
New York, NY 10028