There’s something about Dovetail, that as soon as you step through the doors, bask you in a sense of luxury. Perhaps it’s not what Dovetail has done, but rather what it has not done. As more and more restaurants take the concept of “organic” out of the kitchen and into its dining room environment, Dovetail has bucked the trend with an elegant and simple design, a brightly lit dining room, and waiters in uniform. Called me old fashioned, but I found the atmosphere pleasant and welcoming.
To be perfectly honest, I knew nothing about Dovetail prior to its inclusion into the Michelin Star roster for 2011. Despite solid reviews, the location of Dovetail is peculiar for anyone not on a food review mission. Located on 77th Street, it’s not visible to passing traffic on Columbus, so it’s rare to see people going to Dovetail by chance. To make matters worse, any foot traffic would be distracted by the other restaurant on the block: Shake Shack. There’s almost always a queue visible from the front of Dovetail, along with the scent of Shack Burgers.
However for those in the know, and with the ability to turn down the lure of Shack Burgers, a treat awaits in Dovetail.
Having made a spontaneous brunch reservation on a rainy Sunday, expectations were not particularly high. However as soon as we entered the main dining room, the warm and attentive service quickly won me over. Brunch should be casual, but that doesn’t mean service cannot be, or shouldn’t be great. I’m all for great service for brunch.
As soon as you’re handed the menu for brunch, you’re told that the bread is in the oven, ready to make its warm entrance. The brunch prix-fixe at Dovetail is a tremendous value at $32, for which you get canapés for the table, one entree choice, and “every type of dessert” in bite sized portions.
The canapés resembles a collection of amuse bouche dishe, each breakfast appropriate, and presented together on one plate. The very pretty assortment includes yogurt parfait, white gazpacho, cured salmon and cucumber tea sandwich, pickled cucumber with salmon roe, and duck meatballs. Each has distinct flavor, not to mention they are all incredibly fun to eat. You have meatball on a stick, cucumber in a spoon, salmon on toast, and a parfait in a shot glass.
For entrees there are a total of 12 choices, from breakfast classics like egg benedict to plates that resemble lunch or dinner. Hoping to get a more savory experience, we ordered roasted chicken and duck lasagna. The chicken was moist, juicy, with beautifully colored and crispy skin. The sauce, which was drizzled over the duck and spoon bread, complemented the dish wonderfully. I would have preferred a vegetable to better balance the plate, as the romaine was a bit odd.
The duck lasagna was very unique and memorable. Just having layers of duck meat with pasta would have already been a very exciting dish for brunch, to then surrounded the lasagna with vegetables and sliced mushroom for contrast of texture and flavor was brilliant.
Sides are available to spruce up your meal, I went with a slab of bacon. You really cannot go wrong with bacon.
To top off a wonderful meal, you get to sample every one of their desserts in bite sized portions. Between the lemon bar, strawberry profiterole, carrot cake, chocolate bread pudding, I wish I could have a full sized portion of each.
A brunch that tasted better than some lunch and dinners. I’ll most certainly be back for dinner.
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