Best a la carte brunch - 2000
Strings - CLOSED
The dining areas are bright and cheerful and so is the staff, which makes for a happy way to start off a leisurely Saturday. For brunch, Strings keeps it simple -- a pasta dish or two, a half-dozen egg items and a smartly assembled smoked-salmon salad -- but it's all simply delicious. The shrimp hash over potato pancakes comes topped by a poached egg and smothered with hollandaise; the prosciutto-and-chive potato terrine is so hefty you won't have to eat again for the rest of the day (especially if you start out with the gazpacho, garnished by a ball of tomato sorbet). And your standard lox and bagel will never look as good once you've sampled that smoked-salmon plate, a flavor frenzy of sweet, rich, peppery and tart: oily, supple, good-quality slices of smoked salmon; creamy, chive-scrambled eggs, arugula, tomato slices, fresh basil, fresh strawberries and Belgian endive. Throw in a few of Strings's super Bloody Marys, and you may be able to face the fact that the weekend's just about over.