The Weekend Gourmet: The Weekend Gourmet Dines Out for June...Sunday Brunch at New York's Iconic Waldorf-Astoria Hotel F

Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Weekend Gourmet Dines Out for June...Sunday Brunch at New York's Iconic Waldorf-Astoria Hotel

Photograph provided by the Waldorf-Astoria
This month's edition of The Weekend Gourmet Dines Out is featuring our truly remarkable Sunday brunch experience earlier this year at New York's iconic Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. If you're a fan of weekend brunch, then the Waldorf Brunch at Peacock Alley is a definite must if you find yourself in Midtown Manhattan. This is an over-the-top culinary experience unlike any other brunch Michael and I have experienced before. We like to think of it as brunch on steroids! The lavish buffet is served in Peacock Alley restaurant, located adjacent to the hotel's main lobby. The decor is elegant, and the staff is very attentive. We were seated and offered perfectly prepared mimosas. Then, it was time to check out the food. Oh...what food it was!! 
The expansive brunch is served buffet style, with a wide range of both cold and hot foods to choose from. With so much delicious food to sample, we needed a strategy! We decided to start with a sampling of fresh fruit, bakery breads, cheese, and salads. The Waldorf-Astoria has a rooftop garden that supplies many of the herbs and vegetables served at their restaurants -- including Peacock Alley. We sipped our mimosas and nibbled on perfectly ripe fruit, artisan baked goods, and cheese. Our brunch was off to a great start!
After enjoying some of the buffets cold items, it was time to move to the entree portion of our brunch. I started out by visiting the impressive cold seafood display. It featured a caviar station with fresh-made blini, raw oysters, huge boiled shrimp, and lobster tails. Caviar and lobster aren't typically found at a Sunday brunch buffet...but this is definitely NOT a typical Sunday brunch!!
We also enjoyed a sampling of hand-carved, perfectly roasted meats -- including succulent rosemary-infused leg of lamb. If you love artisan charcuterie, you're in luck! This brunch also features a two-tiered display of cured meats that pair nicely with the breads and cheeses offered on the buffet. We were in heaven!

Did you know that the classic Waldorf salad was invented at The Waldorf-Astoria? It's true! This famous salad was first served in the 1890's at The Waldorf Hotel (which became the Waldorf-Astoria a few years later). The Brunch at Peacock Alley is keeping this tradition alive by offering its brunch guests individual Waldorf salads served in miniature glass bowls. This modern take on the hotel's classic salad includes candied walnuts, matchsticks of tart green apples, sliced purple grapes, and crunchy celeriac in a creamy dressing. It was a fantastic combination of flavors and textures, and I have to admit it was pretty cool to enjoy a Waldorf salad at the place where the recipe originated!
Photograph provided by The Waldorf-Astoria
If you have a sweet tooth, you're in luck! The Waldorf Brunch at Peacock Alley features more than 100 beautifully decorated desserts arranged around a huge chocolate fountain. Everything looked so good! Luckily, the desserts are perfectly portioned so you can easily sample several items. Another interesting note: the Waldorf-Astoria offered one of the first red velvet cakes in the U.S., and you'll definitely find moist, delicious red velvet cupcakes on the dessert display. One of my favorite desserts was the fun made-to-order Baked Alaska Lollipop. It was made with bite-sized rounds of house-made honey ice cream, topped with fresh meringue, and torched to toasty perfection in front of me! 
Needless to say, by the time we left two hours later, we were happily stuffed. The Waldorf Brunch at Peacock Alley has received many accolades -- including being named one of the 10 Best Brunches in NYC by OpenTable. The Waldorf-Astoria serves brunch every Sunday starting at 10:00 a.m., and the final seating is at 2:00 p.m. This brunch is understandably quite popular, so reservations are strongly recommended. If you want to enjoy a truly memorable special-occasion brunch when you visit New York, The Waldorf Brunch at Peacock Alley is definitely it! You'll experience expertly prepared food in an elegant setting...in one of the most exciting cities on the planet. Life doesn't get much better than that, my friend!

Disclosure: The Waldorf-Astoria hosted us for The Waldorf Brunch at Peacock Alley to facilitate this feature. All opinions expressed are solely my own. Unless otherwise noted, pictures are copyrighted by Michael K. Garcia. They may not be copied or otherwise used without prior permission.

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