Brunch is one of the essential meals you should eat in a week. Just as you need your daily dose of fruits and veggies (blah, blah) you also need your weekly dose of brunch. Life is not complete without it.
Brunch culture is not to be rushed. It is to be relaxed, savored, boozy, with good company and late morning/early afternoon. No one brunches at 9am. Most Boston brunches don’t even begin before 11AM, so set your expectations accordingly.
Pro-Tip #1: Whenever possible, make a reservation. Why would you wait an hour in line and become hangry (look it up) when you could have gone to OpenTable and in less than a minute made a reservation for the specific time you are looking to enjoy your meal?? Riddle me that. I would rather gauge my eyes out than wait for a table to open up.
Some brunches are enjoyed around a special occasion, some are just because. Gaslight Brasserie du Coin is one of those classic South End restaurants you usually think of with regards to dinner, but is one of the most underrated brunches in Boston.
Set The Mood
You walk in to a relaxed, cozy, yet bright atmosphere with the sun shining in on a gorgeous summer day. At the front of the restaurant there are numerous Parisian style small marble tables with wooden chairs filled with people talking, laughing, drinking. There is a gentle smell of coffee in the air. Everyone looks happy and content and why shouldn't they - it's Sunday Funday! Surrounding those tables are several booths for larger parties. The main dining room also houses many small tables and then larger booths around the perimeter of the restaurant.
Pro-Tip #2: Always sit at the bar if there are just two of you and especially if it’s a big, beautiful, well lit bar in the center of the restaurant. It’s more fun, better service, and good people watching around the restaurant.
Wet the Pallet
A classic brunch cocktail is a Bloody Mary or mimosa. My friend got a bloody which came served in a tall glass garnished with the usual accompaniments. The Bloody mix was homemade and had a zip of horseradish and ended with the tang of worcestershire.
I got a mimosa - my usual go-to. Fresh squeezed orange juice mixed with their house brut champagne served in a wine glass. The mimosa had the proper ratio of champagne to OJ and hit the spot (wink wink ;) on a sunny Summer morning.
Appetizers are a critical component to a meal’s excitement - you can think of it as the foreplay to the main event. Your taste buds wake up, your senses are alive and then you see the pastry basket at the table next to you and OMG. I need that in my life. Thankfully you can order an individual pastry (or two) and obviously my eye went towards the croissants at the top of the menu. Sold. I confirmed with the bartender that the croissants were very good because otherwise don't waste my calories.
These croissants were sent from the heavens. There were layers of flaky, buttery dough baked to perfection and filled with chocolate and raspberry. I’ve eaten my fair share of croissants (several a day in Paris) and these would rival a Parisian boulangerie any day. My friend told me to slow down and breathe as I shoved the flakey goodness into my mouth and tried to scoop up every last crumb. Unfortunately I didn't snap a picture of the chocolate croissant, but I did get one of the raspberry croissants as you can see above!
Let’s Get Busy
The menu had several omelette options, sandwiches, crepes, mussels, a salad nicoise, lots to choose from. My friend is gluten free - so we always look at a menu ahead of time to ensure he has enough food options before arriving. Restaurants in the last few years have gotten so much better about labeling things as gluten free as well as having more choices but it can still be hard for him. Fortunately Gaslight had several options. My friend settled on the Berkshire Pork Hache with Confit pork, crispy potatoes, chili sauce verte & fried eggs. It was savory and salty, served over a thick bed of potatoes, topped with confit pork and left him more satisfied than a kid at a candy shop. I usually go sweet but today was feeling something a little more savory and guilt free-ish so I chose the Poached Eggs a la Bearnaise with sauteed kale & caramelized onions. Everything about it was right. The eggs were cooked perfectly, the caramelized onions added a bit of sweetness, the kale made me feel healthy and the bernaise sauce I wanted to take home and smear all over my face as a new face cream. Our other friends ordered the bacon quiche which was light and fluffy with a puff pastry crust as well as a croque madame with gruyere cheese over crispy toast and stuffed with smoked ham, bechamel sauce, a house made mustard and then topped with a sunny side egg. We were all proud members of the clean plate club.
The bartenders who served us were very friendly and accommodating. The service was quick, the food was hot and fresh and we weren’t rushed out. We were able to stay and finish our drinks at a leisurely pace. Prices were totally reasonable and if you skip the drinks then it’s a very reasonable menu for brunch in Boston.
We got there around 11:30am and the place wasn’t full till 12ish so I would recommend going before noon if you don’t want to wait.
OOOOO’H -ultimate foodgasm and experience that you never want to end
I left fat and happy and am still drooling over that bearnaise sauce as I write this.