Note: As of January 2011, Steamers Landing is now Merchants River House.
I enjoy living in Lower Manhattan, but my friends have often heard me complain about the lack of good brunch restaurants east of Broadway. Not the lack of restaurants (as there’s a good supply of them), but specifically the lack of restaurants with great brunch menus. I don’t necessarily mean “great” as in Normas, Sarabeth’s Kitchen, Bubby’s or Balthazar, but simply a solid weekend brunch place with a variety of omlettes, pancakes, waffles, etc.
Well, such places don’t seem to exist east of Broadway, which restauranteurs perhaps still think is a Monday-to-Friday neighborhood. A place around the corner from me called Cafe 92 serves low-end diner food, but it’s so limited and ordinary that one quickly tires of it. It’s a bit embarrassing to take guests there, although on occasion I have done so. That leaves the west side, where – thanks to Battery Park City and TriBeCa South – options are a bit more numerous. However, it is a longer walk. This weekend, I found a romantic brunch setting that might just be worth it: Steamers Landing, located on the Battery Park City esplanade between Liberty and Albany Streets.
I’d often walked by Steamers Landing while enjoying the view on the esplanade – one of Manhattan’s least known scenic treasures – but for some reason it never occurred to me to walk by for brunch. Turns out they have a wonderful brunch menu. Steamers Landing will never eclipse the city’s more famous high-end brunch eateries for its food alone, but they do a fine job, and on top of that is a spectacular view of the Hudson that beats just about any other restaurant in the city. Steamers Landing serves lunches and dinners too, but that’ll be a topic for another day.
Some Saturday or Sunday morning, when the weather is nice, head on out to Battery Park City and try out Steamers Landing for brunch. Be sure to sit in the outdoor garden. After that, take a nice long walk on the esplanade and walk off the calories you just inhaled. You’ll be glad you did.
Steamers Landing (375 South End Avenue between Liberty and Albany Streets, Battery Park City)