Brunch is a weekly affair in New York City, especially during the summer when everyone is out and about. There’s not a shortage of brunch places, but it is difficult to find a place that checks all of the boxes: plenty of space, a variety of dishes to satisfy even the most picky eaters, and drink options such as craft beers and brunch cocktails.
The newest location of Clinton Hall in Midtown East fulfills all of those criteria, with the added bonus of having board games.
We made our way over one lazy Sunday afternoon. Brunch starts at 11:00 AM (which, let’s be real, who gets up that early) and runs until 3:00 PM. Obviously you can stick around past 3:00 PM, but they change over to the dinner menu, so you can order a completely different meal if you linger.
We started with some brunch cocktails, which include the Bloody Bull with vodka, tomato juice, beef boullion, Old Bay spice, and house pickled vegetables. While Bloody Marys are not my thing, we did enjoy the Shandy’s Passion with passion fruit Guppy APA, Pama pomegranate, Fireball, Luxardo, lemon juice, and bitters. For something refreshing, try the Spring Sangria with port wine, rye, grapefruit liqueur, passion fruit puree, and lemon juice.
After you place your order, you can pass the time by playing any number of games laying out on the tables. We sat a table with “Pucket”, made up our own rules, and let the frenzy begin. If you enjoy torturing yourself, they also have a number of puzzle games for you to solve. Nothing like solving a Rubik’s Cube as a de-stresser. They also have jumbo-size Connect 4 and Jenga, and a wall of Chess, if you really want full-body interaction.
One of their brunch highlights is the Clinton Hall Fondue Burger. The burger is cooked to order, and then it comes with a side of melted cheese in a pot, where they ceremoniously pour it on top of your burger for you. At the end, they also leave the pot for you to slurp up any residual cheese. Pro tip: Use to dip your fries.
Another brunch favorite is the Spicy Duck Chorizo Hash. A sunny side egg is place on top of a bed of hash all mixed up with meat and spices. For those with low spicy tolerance, it is pretty mild so fear not. And for those who like to kick it up a notch, it’s nothing a little hot sauce can’t fix.
Other standout brunch dishes include their Doughnut Grilled Cheese (!!), the Nashville Hot Chicken and Waffles which includes a hot-fry chicken breast, malt-vanilla waffle and clover honey, and the Steak & Egg Sandwich with hanger steak, an “egg in a basket” bun, sundried tomato, mesclun greens, horseradish cream and fries. We’ll be back to try these out.
We lingered long enough for the menu to change over to dinner, and though we weren’t hungry there is still always room for dessert. We ordered the “Dangerously Addicting Doughnuts” which are giant balls of fried homemade dough coated with blue Sky Sugar, and came with three injectable tubes of Nutella, salted caramel sauce, and raspberry jam. Definitely addicting and definitely a great end to any meal.
Clinton Hall 51
230 E 51st Street
between 2nd and 3rd Avenue