243 E 14th St
(between 2nd Ave & 3rd Ave)
New York, NY 10003
The Winslow is a very special place. You can feel it when you walk in. You can sense that someone cares deeply about the place. Maybe it was because I was biased when I walked in. I knew that Jeff Winslow was a bartender at Hibernia and had saved up money for a decade to open his dream place. But there’s something incredibly charming about the place. It maintains a small town bar feel with the warm wooden décor, but also has a New York snazzy edge because if you look closely enough, everything is very deliberately picked and well designed. Just look at the stools. The subtle curve of the wooden seat sits on top of four elegant legs. Not your standard wooden stool.
V.S. introduced me to Jeff one night when we were all getting drinks there. At night, the place gets bumpin’ with old hip hop tunes and endless gin cocktails to sample. I was told that I had to come and try their food sometime. I brought M.B., Y.N., and L.S. one Saturday for brunch. Brunch in NYC is a normally a nightmare that involves long waits, lame eggs benedicts, and watered down mimosas. Winslow had none of that.
The lack of a wait might just have to do with the fact that it is still very new and unknown to most. I almost don’t want people to read this post so I can continue to enjoy brunch without a wait. But that’s just selfish…
We also shared the Scotch Eggs ($8), which all Yelp reviews seem to boast. I had only had scotch eggs once before and it was at Toucan and the Lion, where I didn’t fully enjoy. These eggs were PERFECTLY gooey, my sign of a great egg. The outside was crisp, the sausage was tasty, and the egg was great. The salad on the side was a nice touch to cut through all the heavy flavors.
M.B. and Y.N. both ordered the Mushroom Omelet ($12) with goat cheese, mushroom duxelle (finely chopped mixture of mushrooms or mushroom stems, onions, shallots and herbs sautéed in butter, and reduced to a paste – wiki), crispy potatoes, and green salad. The omelet was very light, yet tasty with the subtle shroom flavors and sharper goat cheese flavors.
L.S. had the Egg Sandwich ($10) with guanciale, sauerkraut, crispy potatoes, red chilli aioli, cheddar cheese, housemade brioche bun, and green salad. I didn’t get to try it but L.S. finished every last bite. Must’ve been good.
I had the Duck Confit Hash ($14), with kabocha squash, oyster mushrooms, poached eggs, arugula, pesto, and hollandaise sauce. SO GOOD. Possibly top 5 favorite brunch item? Another lucky top 5 item would have to be the eggs benny at Prune. I didn’t get to fully sample everyone else’s meal but I think I definitely won the best-picked-entrée contest. The duck was super flavorful and paired perfectly with the earthy, meaty oyster shrooms. The poached eggs added just a nice creaminess, curbing some of the saltiness. Squash was fried so the outside was slightly crispy/chewy. It also gave the dish a little sweetness. The bitterness from the little bits of arugula added more complexity. And the pesto. THE PESTO! Salty, herby, fragrant pesto… Jeff, can I have a jar of it so I can devour it with an entire loaf of bread? All round, GREAT brunch item.
I’ll be back. First for the evening parties where I dance the night away to Winslow’s old school hip hop jams and while drinking the entire cocktail menu featuring gins from around the world. Then back again next morning (early afternoon, let’s be real here) for brunch.