Prosciutto + Fontina Biscuits, Chive Butter
Lemon Ricotta Toast, Hazelnuts, Chestnut Honey
Avocado Toast, Radish, Chives, Pickled Onion, Sorrel
Smoked Ocean Trout Toast, Schmear, Red Onion, Capers, Tomatoes
Pistachio Butter Toast, Raspberry Jam, Sea Salt, Lemon Zest
Omelette, Boursin Cheese, Smoked Tomatoes, Salted Zucchini
Chorizo Toast, Soft Scrambled Eggs, Crème Fraiche, Herbs, Chili Oil
Mushroom Toast, Soft Scrambled Eggs, Crème Fraiche, Herbs
Porchetta Benedict, Poached Eggs, Pepperonata, Chipotle Hollandaise, Toast
Bread Pudding French Toast, Lyle’s Golden Syrup, Crème Fraiche, Blueberries
Blackberry Yogurt, Truffle Honey, Rooster Boy Granola
Egg White Frittata, Pesto, Roasted Tomatoes, Shaved Veggies, Grapefruit
Seasonal Beans + Greens, Braised Mushrooms
Polenta, Sunny Side Up Eggs, Truffled Mushrooms, Parmesan Frico
Breaky Sandwich with Sausage, Fried Egg, Fontina Cheese, Greens, Breakfast Potatoes
Ricotta Pancakes, Lemon Butter, Blueberry-Hibiscus Compote
Rigatoni Carbonara, Guanciale, Peas, Egg Yolk, Grana Padana Cheese
Margherita Pizza, Chris Bianco’s Tomatoes, Fresh Mozzarella, Basil
Bacon Pizza, Caramelized Onion, Fontina Cheese, Egg, Saba
Having first experienced James Trees’ Cuisine during Brunch at Superba Food + Bread it was moments after hearing that Esther’s Kitchen was now open at 10:00am on weekends that a group was gathered, the result eight friends old and new indulging in 19 dishes including 16 new ones over the course of two hours and much conversation.
Not about to discuss the critically acclaimed space again, though those still unaware can look here, here or here, it was with sunlight flooding through windows and REM playing overhead that greetings were offered by Paul Argier, an educated staff then taking over as Chef Trees and his team tended to matters in the kitchen.
Quieter during the day, though that will likely soon change, it was with guests opting for Water, Juice or Tea that Brunch soon began, Drop Biscuits from Baker Dylan Jobsz at first questioned as “undercooked” by some though in reality quite impressive for something not laminated and riddled with Pork that plays well off creamy Herb Butter.
Heavily focused on Toast, and rightfully so considering Dylan’s housemade Sourdough, it was beginning light with lemony Ricotta plus Hazelnuts and Honey that each Slice was carefully divided, a tongue-in-cheek “yep!” following one topped with Avocado doing nothing to diminish great ingredient quality and texture which carries over to smoked Trout and Cream Cheese that all but the pickiest Lower East Side New Yorker will enjoy.
Temporarily veering a little sweet, both housemade Pistachio Butter and Raspberry Jam spread thick beneath Lemon Zest and coarse Salt, it was after this that Chef Trees sent forth Sin City’s only proper Omelette not served on-Strip, the fold around Boursin and smoky Tomatoes light like a Soufflé though soft scrambled Eggs mixed with Chorizo or Mushrooms and served on crunchy Sourdough were not much heavier.
Hearing some say the combination of Chorizo and Chili Oil was a bit too spicy, those same folks smartly avoiding housemade Porchetta served like a Benedict with Chipotle Hollandaise and sliced orange Peppers, it was with cooling Yogurt and Rooster Boy Granola that fire was extinguished before moving on to fried Bread Pudding dotted with Blueberries, Lyle’s Syrup adding restrained sweetness that is further reined in by Crème Fraiche.
Seeing many getting full at this point, portions far larger than prices would suggest, it was mostly a matter of timing that saw an Egg White Frittata decorated in Vegetables and Grapefruit have less impact that it may have earlier, same too for a Vegan Grain Bowl featuring smoky Beans plus a tangle of Greens and Mushrooms.
Expecting great things from Trees’ Polenta, the version offered at dinner here thinned by Sunnyside Eggs but given back texture by a Parmesan Cheese lattice, those seeking a top-notch Breakfast Sandwich will be happy to know Esther’s trails not far behind Bardot for Sin City’s best thanks to house Sausage, Cheese and Greens while crunchy Potatoes on the side will make guests wonder why they’ve ever settled for Hash Browns.
Finishing new items with a stack of Pancakes featuring lots of Ricotta, the resultant texture far fluffier than anyone might assume, it is by way of Lemon Butter and plenty of Blueberries cooked in Sugar with Hibiscus that each bite is subtly different, the same to be said of Rigatoni Carbonara that is entirely Brunch-appropriate thanks to Pork and Eggs, as too is the Bacon Pizza with Onions and a touch of sweetness added by Saba.
FIVE STARS: Fulfilling a “Coming Soon” promise dating back nearly a year, Brunch at Esther’s Kitchen has proved worth waiting for, and as it seems many have not yet gotten the news now is the time to go before lines begin to form.
RECOMMENDED: Prosciutto + Fontina Biscuits, Smoked Ocean Trout Toast, Pistachio Butter Toast, Omelette, Chorizo Toast, Bread Pudding French Toast, Polenta, Ricotta Pancakes, Bacon Pizza.
AVOID: The Egg White Frittata is a nice choice for those counting calories, but otherwise there are much better choices.
TIP: Despite what the Website says 11 days later, Brunch is offered 10a-3p on Saturday and Sunday.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.