March 20, 2017
Eat / restaurants / Brunch on the Shoreline

Brunch on the Shoreline


The Wharf at Madison Beach Hotel, Madison

When I was 16, my parents took me to Halmstadt on the west coast of Sweden and while we were there I had my first taste of a true smörgåsbord. A long, relaxed meal presented as a work of art in elegant surroundings. The Wharf at the Madison Beach Hotel falls into a similar league. Read more…

Fresh Salt, Old Saybrook

You may already know that my husband has a weird and annoying phobia of all-you-can-eat brunches from reading the-e-list, so I happily dragged a willing Laura along last Sunday to Saybrook Point Inn. And a good idea it was because this is the sort of brunch where you’ve just go to go all in. Read more…

Elizabeth’s Cafe, Madison

It’s no secret that Elizabeth’s Cafe has been dishing out some of the finest food in the neighborhood for nearly thirty years. We’d recently discovered their tasteful rendition of Brunch. In the early hours of a Sunday morning, we nestled into a cozy table, and treated ourselves to nothing short of a perfect, elegant brunch. Although indulging in Crab Benedict (two poached eggs atop plump silver dollar crab cakes on toasted brioche with a hollandaise) and Brioche French Toast (stuffed with bananas) may sound like a sizable pursuit, it didn’t ruin us for the day as brunch often seems to do. Read more…

Engine Room, Mystic

It’s always reassuring to see a place bustling with people straight out of the gate at the start of service. Brunch starts at 10 at the Engine Room. Once seated, my pal and I got right to work on our “Custom Bloody Mary” paperwork and decided we might as well order the house down. We went with the deliciously sweet AND savory Hush Puppies with spicy jalapeno mayo, Kale Caeser Salad with perfect, tender, Spanish anchovies, and a teeny cast iron skillet with Baked Parmesan Eggs, lightly dressed greens and toast on the side. Read more…

The Stand, Branford

On a dismal, slightly depressing post-holiday Sunday, Laura and I headed to The Stand in Branford for their new brunch. First, let me say, that was the best decision I had made all week because The Stand is a very happy, uplifting place. In summer, it’s an indoor-outdoor farmer’s market/barbecue mashup, but come winter, the fun moves inside a vintage renovated gas station. The interior has an upcycled loft-like feel, with an open, bustling kitchen and cozy bar on one side. Head to the counter to peruse the pickings for brunch and place your order. Read more…

The Griswold Inn, Essex

Legend has it that the Inn’s splendid breakfast originated during the British occupation of Essex. Choose the dining room to be close to the buffet or the tap-room to enjoy the Dixieland Jazz quartet. The library is a little quieter and ideal for a large family group or infants. The hot buffet includes breakfast sausages, bacon, and eggs, plus steaming trays of fish, chicken and pork. The omelets are made to order soufflé-style and they are happy to do egg-white only if you prefer. My favorite had to be the Belgian Waffle Station with wickedly sweet blueberries, warm maple syrup, and Chantilly cream. Read more…

Paperback Cafe, Old Saybrook

Paperback Café on a Sunday falls into that sweet spot between breakfast and brunch. Turn up after 11 am and you’ll be treated to jazz with your breakfast. I love Eggs Benedict and use that as a marker by which all breakfasts are judged, and I was not disappointed. The salsa and avocado made a great addition and the servings are generous. The husband chose a Sierra de Peru – a combination of English muffins, eggs, cheese, sausage and red peppers. He assured me it was equally as good as my Benedict – and he clearly knows! Read more…

La Belle Aurore, Niantic

Walking into La Belle Aurore was like walking into my Grandmother’s kitchen – filled with an eclectic mix of furnishings, checkered tablecloths, handmade pottery jugs, ornate french mirrors and mismatched crockery. It had the feel of one of those wonderful “unexpected” places that only the locals know about. The folks behind La Belle Aurore buy as much as they can direct from local farms to reduce food miles and to keep dollars in the local economy, and their menu changes to reflect their vision and the bounty of the season.  Read more…

Oyster Club, Mystic

There’s an element of surprise at the Oyster Club that I adore. And after months of stalking their Instagram feed and poring over Chef James Wayman’s carefully fermented kimchee, foraged fungi and aged pancetta, I happily volunteered to hit the Sunday Brunch to see what revolutionary treats might be in store. Read more…


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