Lexington Brass Kicks Mother’s Day…Gluteus Maximus

I just love a restaurant that doesn’t force a prix fixe on you on Mother’s Day. A place that is nice but not “fancy,” that takes reservations, and that offers a good-sized menu with something for everyone in my party.

That’s how my family ended up at Lexington Brass for Mother’s Day brunch.

Lexington Brass is a restaurant that has hosted everyone from the cast of Gossip Girl to yours truly. It looks like an American brasserie – light, busy but not cramped, and casual with cloth napkins and an inventive cocktail list. The atmosphere is great for a solo lunch at the bar or a family affair like this one.

Brass ale beer waffles with bruleed bananas and cinnamon butter

This fell short for me. The waffle’s taste is good – yeasty, buttery, and a little malty from the beer. The fruit is sweet and juicy with crunchy sugared bananas. But the texture is way too floppy, verging on soggy. Yes, cinnamon butter contributes to that, as it melts and pools, which is lovely.  However, a waffle must have crisp edges and that fluffy, light quality (vs. a sodden one) to make it into the pantheon of waffle greatness. Unfortunately, that made this first dish at the table a fail.

Chicken sausage

This proves how the right seasoning and care with a dish bumps it up to the next level. This is simply sausage, but it’s done perfectly – tender, juicy chicken with thyme and sweet maple. The texture is firm, with a steak-like chew. I would absolutely get this again to round out a meal.

Smoked salmon and white asparagus Benedict with ramp hollandaise

How many ways can I say “yes, yes, a thousand times, YES!” This is my idea of heaven. Why?

Silky, pleasantly smoky salmon? Check

Perfectly poached eggs with firm whites and thick, rich yolks? Check

Tender white asparagus, a mild and fresh contrast in the rich dish? Check

Slivers of toasted English muffin to soak up all of the intense flavors? Check

Decadent, buttery hollandaise, chartreuse and fragrant with the lightly garlicky, sweet onion-y taste of ramps? Check

 I wish this dish was on the regular menu – but, of course, ramps have a very short season. That being said, it speaks to how closely the restaurant’s chef pays attention to what is in season and changes the menu accordingly. This dish had a myriad of textures and flavors that made it utterly satisfying.

Strawberry and rhubarb tres leches shortcake

Fabulous. Sweet strawberries macerated with tangy rhubarb has a fresh, sugary taste. The thick cream mimics the sweet, rich condensed milk that soaks the bottom shortcake bun. Sweet but not cloying and decadent but perfectly portioned. This is totally craveable.

This restaurant might not be destination worthy on its own, but on a holiday, run towards it. The prices are very fair, the service is good, and the food is quite tasty. Get that ramp hollandaise and get it fast.

And don’t ever pay a prix fixe just because you think there are no other options.

Lexington Brass on Urbanspoon