After another super early morning for Meet the Press, my stomach was growling and craving one thing, and one thing only: Brunch. My dad had driven me into the city bright and early for work, so the two of us set out on an adventure on a beautiful Sunday morning. My parents lived on the Upper West Side until I was 3 1/2 years old, so it’s slightly appropriate that this is where I know live too. My dad, who fostered my love for food and politics, is a great brunch buddy, never settling for anything less then extraordinary. We made our way up Columbus and the second we set our eyes on Isabella’s green awning, we both knew our minds had been made up.
The restaurant was already crowded, but there was seating availability outside. We sat under the heater (the restaurant was on the shady side of the street) and debated what to order. My dad ordered a coffee to start and when the waitress came over with bread, my dad kindly asked if they had Matzah instead. They did. According to my dad “it’s the Upper West Side, they’re smart enough to know to have Matzah. It costs $2 a box.” So much wisdom. I’m going to keep that in mind all week.
I noticed that on the menu it said for brunch Isabella’s serves a complimentary alcoholic beverage and coffee or tea. Free alcohol? In New York? I couldn’t believe my eyes! Sure enough, it was not some kind of scam. But unfortunately since it was only 11:30, we couldn’t be served our drinks until 12. Interesting fact. I think this is the earliest brunch I have ever been to, so I never encountered this problem before, but now I know for the future. There is a reason you’re supposed to sleep in.
We couldn’t make up our minds and decided to split the salmon scramble and egg white omelet. I ordered a Rooisbos tea to sip on while I counted down the minutes until I could enjoy my Mimosa.
Little bites of heaven. These eggs just melted in your mouth that I didn’t want to switch with my dad when the time came for the egg white omelet. The salty salmon with the creamy cheese played off each other perfectly. Then the little crunch of the chives, followed by a bite of extra crispy breakfast potatoes. Literally, my dream brunch meal. And of course, I spread some of the cream cheese on top of the matzah, added a little smoked salmon and egg to make the ultimate bite. Who said being Kosher for Passover meant suffering food wise? I couldn’t have been happier. Then the clock finally hit 12.
I ended the meal with the sweet tingle of champagne bubbles on my tongue, putting a smile on my face on the gorgeous Sunday day.
The whole meal was so pleasant, and of course with my Dad, my favorite company in the world. He turned to me at one point in the meal and said, “I used to come here with your Mom 25 years ago, and now I’m here with my 22-year-old daughter.” It’s crazy how life changes, but good food and family always stays the same.
Isabella’s – 359 Columbus Avenue – New York, NY
Location: Upper West Side, NY
Perfect For: Chronic Brunch, Casual Meal, Outdoor Seating
Favorite Dishes: Smoked Salmon Scramble
*Note: Complimentary drinks are served at Sunday Brunch