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Thursday
Sep242009

Brunch at Commerce



  • Cuisine: New American
  • Atmosphere: art deco, spacious, historic space, casual, hidden-gem appeal
  • Attire: smart-casual
  • Ideal for: 1x1, small groups, brunch service (perfect for folks willing to pay a pretty penny to squash a bad hangover
  • Must try: Biscuits & sausage gravy (brunch)
  • Price: All brunch entree items under $19
  • Reservations: Via phone or opentable.com
  • Phone: (212) 524-2301
  • Website: www.commercerestaurant.com
  • Location: 50 Commerce St., (btwn Bedford & Barrow St.)
*All photos from this meal can be viewed on Flickr
What's the space like? 
Think Art Deco charm and glamour: Mirrors and hand-painted murals adorning the walls; a gorgeously restored 1941 Brunswick bar.  Honestly, the spacious room reminded me of an old-fashioned elementary school cafeteria (only fancier and void of tray rests).  Random visual: Its dim lighting, tall ceilings and support pillars prompted me to imagine how scared I'd be if I were stuck in the restaurant by myself with no lights on.     

How was the service?
Friendly and knowledgeable, yet slow (our waitress vanished on numerous occasions).

Did you drink?
Not alcohol, honey.  I was hungover from the night before, not to mention the fact that I was coming down with, what I now know is, the flu (I'm writing this from bed).  I did, however, have a delicious glass of freshly squeezed orange juice.  

What did you order to eat, and how was it?
  • Biscuits & sausage gravy: Two whole biscuits were sliced in half, liberally buttered, delicately toasted, and topped with: the perfect amount of  a rich "sausage gravy" (which was more like a roux with chunks of sausage swimming about), a fried egg and a heavy dusting of freshly-ground black pepper.  From the thin, buttered biscuits and non-traditional gravy to the fried egg atop, this dish certainly wasn't the authentic version that I grew up eating...it was better. The biscuits were moister, the gravy was heavier, the sausage was meatier and the addition of the fried egg was shear genius. Commerce's Yankee preparation of this Southern classic was just what the doctor ordered, literally.  I left the restaurant sans hunger and hangover.  Magic!         
What's pricing like?
While all brunch entree items are under $19, most are served a la carte, sans your typical home-fry or breakfast meat accompaniment. Commerce does not provide diners with a bread basket during a.m. meal service, and beverages are shockingly overpriced. Here's a peak of what my bill looked like:
  • Fresh squeezed orange juice: $5 
  • Biscuits & sausage gravy: $14 
Will you return to Commerce?

Definitely.  It's not the cheapest brunch in town, but I know that whenever I have a hankerin' for biscuits & gravy, I will look no further.  I've also heard that Commerce has a lovely dinner service and a bread basket worthy of an award. Another tidbit worth mentioning? The music.  Commerce plays everything from Waylon Jennings to Bob Marley. 

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Reader Comments (2)

Commerce for dinner is a definite yes. I'm sure you've heard about the chicken with truffle stuffed under the skin, and the mashed potatoes that come with it are HEAVENLY. Recommended for sure.

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterplumpdumpling

@plumpdumpling: So I've heard! Is it true that the bread basket is worth going for, alone? Sounds delish!

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterThe Lady Who Lunches

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