Area 31 Brunch: Eggs With a Twist and a View
Many folks feel about brunch as they do about Italian food: if you're going to spend money eating it at a restaurant, it ought to surpass whatever you could whip up at home. Unfair as that idea might be, the brunch bar is set intrinsically high and it's even higher anytime a revered eatery -- like, in this case, Area 31 -- announces it will offer a weekend brunch service.
Quinoa fried rice.
Short Order tested it out, and we're pleased to report the answer is a resounding no, you can't make this stuff at home. With the exception of a lucky few in South Florida, we also doubt the view from your terrace can rival that at Area 31, which is conveniently located on the 16th floor of downtown's Epic Hotel.
The addition of brunch is only one in a string of changes at Area 31, which recently underwent an indoor/outdoor makeover and updated its menu courtesy of newly appointed executive chef Wolfgang Birk, formerly of Casa Casuarina. There's also a new bartender in town, and Dean Feddaoui certainly understands the role a skillfully prepared libation can play in shaping ones day, particularly if said day begins with the letter "S."
With seasoned brunchers by my side, we sampled three of the four bloody Mary variations, including the aptly named Beets Don't Kill My Vibe ($13). Mixing Compass Box Asyla (Scotch) with roasted yellow beets, fresh lemon, a homemade spice blend, thyme salt and candy cane beets, the beets didn't overwhelm in the least, but lent the beverage a unique freshness. In fact, we think all juice bars should take note.