What: The first international location for neighbourhood restaurant Sunday in Brooklyn, which - as you may have guessed - hails from the New York City borough of Brooklyn and is known for its inventive takes on American staples, playful cocktails, and 'epic' brunch menu.
Who: Sunday in Brooklyn was founded by Todd Enany, Adam Landsman, and chef Jaime Young in 2016. Located in Brooklyn's trendy Williamsburg neighbourhood, the restaurant has drawn a loyal following thanks to its warm hospitality and versatile menu. Since launching it has become a much-loved fixture in Brooklyn’s dining scene, and has drawn critical acclaim from the likes of The New Yorker, Time Out, and New York Magazine. It also features on The World's 50 Best Discovery database.
The food: Don't be thrown by the name, Sunday in Brooklyn is open seven days a week for brunch, lunch and dinner, and serves both a daytime and evening menu. Young has brought many of the New York restaurant's 'signature' dishes over, as well as creating a few specials that will be exclusive to the UK. The dinner menu, in particular, hops between different cuisines, with Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Asian influences to be found among the more traditionally American fare. Dishes include beef tartare with charred onions and Worcestershire egg yolk, served with Walkers Salt & Vinegar crisps; clams casino featuring littleneck clams topped with garlic bread crumb and smoky bacon; 'tear and share' crudo with hamachi, macadamia nuts, avocado, coriander, toasted nori and key Lime; the 'Sunday Burger' with aged beef, 'special sauce', pickles, lettuce and cheddar in a potato bun with fries; and grilled swordfish with charred broccoli greens, cherry tomato, and butter bean pistou. During the day, a strong brunch offer is available that features dishes including stacks of malted pancakes with hazelnut praline and brown butter; a Don Reuben omelette made with mole sauce, goat cheese and roasted mushrooms; and biscuits and gravy with drop cheddar biscuits, sausage gravy, poached eggs and sambal. Desserts are limited to three options, including the chocolate s'more with chocolate soft serve, toasted marshmallow, and crisp wafer cookies.
The drink: As is de rigueur of Williamsburg restaurants these days, a list of all natural wines is available alongside Sunday in Brooklyn’s own extensive list of 'signature' cocktails. They include the ‘Honeybear on Holiday’ with Fiji Rum, amontillado sherry, apricot, pineapple, lime and cumin honey; the 'Devil’s Backbone' with a mix of mezcal, dill aquavit, rhubarb amaro, strawberry and tomato; and the 'Douglas Fir-banks' with American gin, Martinique rhum, peach, lime, vetiver, Douglas Fir and umeboshi paint.
The vibe: The two-floor corner site on Westbourne Grove features tall, wrap-around windows that fill the main dining room with natural light, and warm, welcoming interiors that echo the cosy atmosphere of the New York original.
And another thing: Trying to bring an elevated spin on American cuisine is a tough sell in the capital. Mississippi-born chef Brad McDonald tried it in Marylebone with The Lockhart, which drew plenty of critical praise for its menu of gumbo, shrimp and grits and collard greens, but never found its footing in the wider market and eventually closed. More recently John Seymour's fried chicken and waffle concept Sweet Chick landed in Fitzrovia with a menu of American comfort food such as biscuits and cornbread, but suffered a similar fate. Taking a beloved US neighbourhood restaurant and moving it across the pond can be equally challenging, as Marcus Samuelsson discovered when he attempted to bring his renowned Harlem restaurant Red Rooster to Shoreditch. Sunday in Brooklyn's polish and reputation will undoubtedly work in its favour, as will the affluent neighbourhood setting, but it's going to have its work cut out if it's to recapture its Stateside sucess over here - and finally convince Londoners of the merits of biscuits and gravy.
98 Westbourne Grove, London W2 5RU