BEST SUNDAY BRUNCH - 2005
100 Collins Avenue
305-532-4550 The portmanteau word brunch was first introduced to England in 1895, but the concept didn't catch on in this country until the Thirties, when it became a popular forum for weekend socializing among the upper class. It's this air of exclusivity that led humorist Heywood Broun to pronounce that "there may be some perfectly nice people who use the word brunch, but I prefer not to know about them." Brunch still is a rather fat-cat affair, especially at the grand corporate hotels, where buffets are gastronomic treasure chests overflowing with glittery gourmet comestibles and champagne is poured like water. Nothing wrong with that, but Nemo's Sunday soiree is precious in a more populist way, ostentation replaced by a down-to-earth style of overindulgence -- meaning you can stuff your face with accessible, everyday foods. We're talking about a plethora of breakfast pastries; bagels and smoked salmon; Belgian waffles pressed to order; granola; carving stations with Indian-spiced pork loin and roast turkey; a luscious lineup of some 40 dishes filled with salads, grains, pastas, fruits, breakfast meats, hash browns, and sushi; and a separate menu of omelets. Every brunch needs a little decadence, and at Nemo it presents itself by way of Hedy Goldsmith's heavenly baked goods, a cornucopia of sugary riches that would put even the most grandiose Viennese table to shame. Add fresh juice, hot coffee, a stylish ambiance, and a lush foliated patio outdoors. The $29 price (half that for kids) doesn't quite qualify Nemo's brunch as working class, but it's enough of a bargain that even Heywood Broun would want to know about it.