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Our Love Affair With Brunch

Cary Attar on Why the Daytime Weekend Repast is Booming in Popularity

What explains the runaway popularity of brunch?  

Is it the morning sunshine? Or the miracle of getting an extended group of friends and family to commit to showing up for a meal? Or the not insignificant pleasure of ordering a morning cocktail in a setting where it’s entirely acceptable, nay, almost expected?

Restauranteur Cary Attar believes the “come as you are,” open-ended  nature of a daytime weekend repast is the reason brunch has become such a hit. “People can linger because it’s a Saturday or Sunday. There’s no pressure, fewer places they have to be.” 

The origin story for brunch is uncertain, but many food historians trace its inception to 17th-century England and the elaborate breakfast spreads enjoyed after a morning of fox hunting. The term “brunch” first appeared in 1895 in the publication Hunter’s Weekly as part of an ode to the meal that could have been penned today:

Brunch is cheerful, sociable and inciting. It is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week.

Whatever its roots, the current desire to partake of brunch is evidenced by the lines winding out the doors of the very best spots for brunching. Two of these are Attar’s Fielding’s Local Kitchen and Bar and Fielding’s Wood Grill.

 Attar says both restaurants added brunch to their menus in 2016, offering the classics that people expect alongside dishes that elevate the concept and reflect influences from Mediterranean, Latin American, South African, and other cuisines—all developed with the inspired creativity of Paris-trained Executive Chef Edelberto Gonçalvez. “The success of our concepts could not happen without Chef Edelberto,” says Attar.

Scan the tables at Fielding’s Local, and you’ll see patrons savoring fried chicken and waffles with “ivory” bbq sauce, and fluffy omelets filled with fresh crab and avocado, as they sip on house roasted coffee and fresh-pressed juice blends made from a rainbow cacophony of fruits and veggies. 

Guests can order a flight of bloody marys or mimosas to sample; or, try the St. Theresa spritz, made with house limoncello, lemonade and sparkling wine. Attar says brunch guests at Wood Grill have taken a shine to the Kir Royale, a classic French apéritif consisting of the black currant liqueur crème de cassis topped with bubbly.

Restaurants can only thrive if they evolve along with the tastes and desires of the public, says Attar. Our love affair with brunch may reflect hope in the future, an anticipation of new possibilities. Which is especially fitting for 2022—a bright new day, as sunny as the egg on your plate.

  • The avocado French toast at Fielding's Local
  • It's the open-ended nature of brunch that makes it such a hit, says Fielding's owner Cary Attar..
  • Brunch evokes hopeful, sunny feelings.

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