What: A brasserie tucked away in Tribeca, Cercle Rouge is the most recent addition in an eclectic resume of restaurants by the GF Group, joining one of my favorite downtown spots, Café Noir.
Where: 241 West Broadway
Why it Rocks: The brunch prix fixe, priced at a reasonable $19.95, will get you coffee, one of many delectable meals off the brunch menu, and your choice of mimosa, bloody Mary, or Bellini. The food featured a delicious mix of fresh ingredients from eggs (build your own omelette! Gruyere and fresh herbs? I’m all over it) to crepes (shrimp and asparagus, yum!) to waffles (with bananas and chocolate!). A word to the wise: Don’t skip out on the ‘hash browns’, which are actually the most deliciously roasted potato wedges you could ever hope for.
I’m all about atmosphere and a restaurant’s ability to transport me to another place via food, mood, and scenery. Cercle Rouge undoubtedly achieved as I felt as though I was sitting in a café of the Parisian persuasion, from the black and cream wicker chairs to the teeny 2 person round tables. All it lacked was the Seine River and the soundtrack from Amelie, which, admittedly, I kept waiting for.
Gripes: Construction on the opposite street corner left much to be aesthetically desired when dining outdoors.
Bonus: A man wearing a top hat performing table side magic tricks.
Bottom Line: Delicious food, courteous staff who didn’t rush us out (we were 4 ladies, after all), and great atmosphere – really the only way to do brunch.