Here’s the scenario: You and your besties decide to go out for brunch. In anticipation, certain goodies that you absolutely expect to be on the menu spin around in your head like a food carousel—you know, the classics, like thick french toast, creamy eggs benedict, delicate crepes, and meaty omelettes.
When you step inside the cozy cottage-turned-restaurant that is The Larchmont, you’ll find a newly launched brunch menu with plays on those greatest hits, and your food fantasies will probably still be realized. With executive chef Kevin Kathman, one of the former opening chefs at Thomas Keller’s The French Laundry, in the kitchen, you can expect everything from fish to foie gras. Here are a few of standouts.
If you opt to start off on a sweet note, there’s likely nothing more toothsome than the Caramel Roll. It’s what I call a “mom nom” dish as it was inspired by the chef’s mom and childhood. Kathman rolls out a croissant-like butter dough and works in cinnamon, sugar, and butter. It’s baked until moist and gooey in the center while encircled by light, flaky, crisp edges. Topped with sea salt, toasted almonds, and golden raisins, this pastry is perfectly habit-forming.
By far the most surprising item on the new menu, the Thai-inspired fried whole Mediterranean sea bass is flavored with a barrage of Southeast-Asian seasonings from a spicy green chili and fish sauce to herbs like basil, cilantro, and mint. This dish is a personal favorite of Kathman who says that eating it is “a great way to sweat out a hangover.”
Here’s a weekend indulgence with a sense of humor and no sense of calorie control. The Stoner was originally going to reference Elvis Presley, who was known for his love of the peanut-butter/banana/bacon sandwich. Instead, this behemoth french toast gone wild is now named after the item’s potentially best customer base. Peanut-butter crunch french toast, maple bacon, and roasted banana dog pile together for an absolutely gluttonous experience. To make it more indulgent, add on seared foie gras.
Other brunch plates are intriguing, too: the King Crab is made with meat sourced from the same purveyor as Nobu while the Benedict works in ham hock (which appears to be trending at the moment). As for the brunch’s booze, chief mixologist Chris Kramer nicknames his Larchmont Bloody Mary “the Liquid Brunch” because of such fresh ingredients as beet and carrot juice. If you need to pair something with The Stoner (and who doesn’t?), then go for the Pimm’s Cup—it’s bright, boozy, and herbaceous, so you can detox and re-tox simultaneously. That’s the whole point of brunch, after all.
The Larchmont, 5750 Melrose Ave., 323-464-4277