I struggled to start this post, because I was wavering on which angle to write about. At first it was going to be about Sweet Grass’s approach to sourcing local and natural ingredients; then I thought I’d speak (again) about my affection for Tarrytown.
In the end, it boiled down to this: I just wanted to talk about brunch.
I realized at Sweet Grass that I need to do brunch more often. Like, a lot more often. Lunch is fine, dinner is the norm, but brunch — brunch is a whole other animal.
For one, it takes place on the weekends, a time when everyone’s much more relaxed and chipper; and finding people in a relaxed and chipper state these days is no small feat, so that counts for something. Brunch can be elegant, but it’s also casual. It evokes thoughts of spring, naps, jazz on the radio, and the Sunday paper (A soon to be purely nostalgic association since most of us read everything online these days. Sad, but true.)
The best part is, it’s okay to indulge at brunch. You’re allowed to eat crazy stuff. Extra bacon, sausage, mimosas, muffins the size of softballs, pancakes piled high and topped with whipped cream… hey, it’s all good, it’s brunch! It’s two meals in one!
I’m sure Sweet Grass makes a good dinner spot, but I walked in and thought man, this place was built for brunch. Just look at it, with its airy dining room, cheery colors and sunlight streaming through the large windows.
You can order from the regular lunch menu if you prefer, but my friend Jillian and I were all about the brunch items.
Like this basket of beignets, hot from the fryer and lightly dusted with powdered sugar.
Jillian ordered the French toast with thick-cut sourdough bread and fresh strawberries. I had a bite and it was a definite thumbs up.
(I wanted to take a picture of Jillian with her French toast and the beignets, but she refused to be included in the money shot of gluttony goodness.)
My torta came with a side of not-too-sweet apple and oat muffins, which we gobbled up.
And here’s the torta.
It’s fried eggs and brioche croutons with a piece of braised pork, greens and a mustard sauce. The mustard sauce was a surprising zinger — almost too strong — but the flavors worked nicely together. And I loved having that tender piece of pork on top.
(I should briefly mention Sweet Grass’s ingredients, because I think it’s important. Spinach, lettuce greens and eggs are local from Stone Barns, as are some of the pork products. Many other ingredients come from farms in upstate NY. The pigs are on an all-vegetarian diet, and the restaurant uses antibiotic-free meat and sustainable seafood.)
Jillian and I were at Sweet Grass for quite a while, just eating and chatting. We had a very nice server with an easy smile. I glanced around the full dining room and saw a mix of families, couples and groups. Everyone looked cheerful and in a great mood. See, that’s the beauty of brunch. It makes people happy.
When can we go again?
Sweet Grass Grill
24 Main St.