Brunch Report - JACK & NELLIE'S

>> Saturday, July 19, 2014

Brunch Report
108-25 Ascan Avenue
Forest Hills, NY 11375
(718) 268-2696

One of my favorite places in the zip code is Jack & Nellie's, but for reasons that I can't yet come up with, I have yet to go there for brunch. This has been a mistake which Myna and I sought to remedy this afternoon. We arrived around noon and were promptly seated. The music began shortly after.

At night, Jack & Nellie's is a chill urban wine bar/restaurant. It's the kind of place I'd been drooling over opening since I moved the neighborhood after I graduated from college ten years ago. During the day on weekends, it's the kind of brunch spot that might make a West Villager pissed. Awesome food, live jazz, no line to get in. If there is a downside, it's that it's somewhat pricey. Bottomless mimosas are nowhere to be seen. But at only $4 a glass, you're not likely to blow all your rent money, either.

My breakfunch was the Eggs Benedict, which they turned into an off-menu non-vegetarian eggs Florentine (they added spinach but kept the bacon in) for no up-charge. Score! It came with a side of potatoes which were very good (and better with hot sauce) and I ordered an extra side of bacon. They serve the super thick kind that feels like biting into four diner slices at once. Fantastic. Admittedly, the plate was somewhat full and so my photo doesn't make it look all that good. But trust me, it was delicious. Myna chose the Egg White Omelet made with spinach, goat cheese, and tomato. It came with a small side of fresh fruit and toast. She also ordered a side of the sausage. I traded her a bacon slab for a sausage but never thought to steal a bite of her omelet. She wants me to tell you that she thought it was great.

For drinks we ordered a round of coffees plus an IPA for me and a sake bloody Mary for her. The coffee was served French press style, which is not only more chi-chi but tastes better than drip coffee. A gripe here: the menu quotes $4 per cup of coffee and the French press pot cost $10. With the two of us, that's $5 each. Sure there were a number of refills in the pot, but it did rub us somewhat ill.

That said, it's not a big enough complaint to keep us from returning. The bloody Mary was very good, the food was great, the live music was awesome, and Myna left with a big beaming smile. "Now that" she said, "is how brunch is supposed to be."

The whole meal wasn't cheap. Our total came close to $70. It includes two brunch entrees, two sides, a carafe of coffee, a cocktail, a beer, tax, and tip but still is a bit pricey for your average brunch.


Anonymous,  July 21, 2014 at 4:37 PM  

I agree that its very good, but that's a ripoff for brunch and the reason why I dont go in there anymore. I had salmon benedict with two real bloody marys for $21 with tax and tip included at bonfire yest. I know its not quite as good, but its close enough.

Susan July 29, 2014 at 11:10 AM  

I'll agree it is pricey, but Jack & Nellie's is an awesome brunch IMO. Always good service, great food, and I love the music. As for the coffee, I'm thrilled to see a French Press in the neighborhood.

I will now share with you my one gripe. Perhaps my expectations are too high, but I feel this is a super-easy fix, so if by chance ownership sees this, hint-hint.

I went in for Brunch a while back with a friend, and we wanted to enjoy a nice, leisurely brunch. And why not ... the music really is a treat.

To extend our brunch I requested if it would be possible to start our meal with a Cheese plate. This was a no-go. No cheese or Charcuterie served at brunch.

Ok, ok, I know it's NOT on the menu. I lost my head. Still, would love to see some flexibility, especially since it wouldn't have entailed any "cooking".

This complaint aside (maybe it's more a "wish" than a complaint), J&N offers a terrific brunch.

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