>Brasserie Julien: 1422 Third Ave. New York, NY

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 I met a friend here for brunch today and was greeted by the hostess who actually recognized my voice from when I called to make the reservation last night. VERY impressive! It’s that kind of attention to detail that I really love and take notice of.
We were seated immediately in a partially indoor/partially outdoor spot. Ice water, bread and butter were served, and I thought I tasted a faint orange flavor to the butter, nice touch! (or maybe the butter is just stored near the orange juice in the fridge and takes on it’s flavor. Either way, I liked it)
I ordered the eggs benedict. (with the hollandaise on the side because I don’t usually like it) As you can see, it was a lovely presentation and included fresh fruit, a small salad, and a piece of sweet potato gratin. The eggs were slightly warm, but definitely not hot. The english muffin and spinach that it sat atop was sort of on the cold side, and the bread tasted stale to me. The sweet potato gratin was close to inedible. I had one bite and then rejected the rest. Slimy, cold and greasy. Definitely NOT worth the carbs this time. I ate the eggs (which were cooked very nicely even though they were cool), the salad and the fruit and picked at the spinach and half of the english muffin a little. The rest remained on my plate. For dessert, I had a taste of my friend’s ‘Berry Avalanche’ and though the berries were fresh and plentiful, and the custard rich and creamy, the filo pastry was definitely stale. Again, not worth it. The service, aside from the hostess, was lacking. Although she was friendly, she was very slow in between courses and even slower to bring the check and have the plates cleared even though we’d been finished eating for a pretty long time. When my friend asked for 1/2 and 1/2 for her coffee, our waitress told her they only had milk. At a French restaurant? What? That was totally impossible to believe knowing how many French foods require cream for their preparation. My friend decided to ask the busboy for some cream and he replied, “Would you like 1/2 and 1/2 or milk”? Ummm, okay. He brought out a small pitcher of 1/2 and 1/2 a minute later for her. Ooooookay. Anyway, though seeing my friend is ALWAYS a complete delight, I thought this restaurant was sub-par. It’s always crowded with a typical Upper East Side clientele though- just another case of diners with little discretion for food as long as it’s a hip place to be seen.

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