At Restaurant Michael Schwartz at the iconic Raleigh Hotel, you can indulge in some MGFD brunch favorites such as the breakfast pizza, lemon ricotta pancakes, crispy hominy, heirloom tomatoes with local stracciatella, and deviled eggs alongside novel items like house-made corned beef hash with Brussels sprouts and a brown-butter hollandaise; buttermilk doughnuts with lemon curd and citrus marmalade; and basil panna cotta.
The setting is reason enough to spend a Sunday afternoon here. Want to lounge by the pool before or after brunch? Day passes cost just $25. Who knows, you might even catch Anthony Bourdain lounging in the pool with his daughter or brunching at the table next to you if he’s in town (the Raleigh is his Miami hotel pick).
Start your meal with the bakery board ($19), which is a mélange of treats including a croissant, pain au chocolat, muffin, coffee cake, scone, and lemon pound cake. If you want to forgo carbs, go the raw route and begin with some oysters on the half-shell ($3 each), a shrimp cocktail ($17), local fish ceviche ($17), or jumbo lump crab cocktail ($16).
RMS recently introduced a DIY bottomless bloody mary bar. For $29, you can knock back as many bloodys as your body can handle. It’s up to you whether to get up and do it yourself or leave it to the barkeep.
We tackled the DIY bar and ended up with this bacon-topped creation — because everything (even a cocktail) is better with bacon. If champagne is more your style, keep it classy with unlimited bubbles for $39.
As at MGFD, snacks include Schwartz’s famed deviled eggs ($7), crispy hominy ($7), thick-cut potato chips with pan-fried onion dip ($8), and marinated olives ($6). There’s also house-made beef jerky ($7), and it’s the perfect complement to your bacon-spiked bloody mary.
Egg lovers have plenty of options, including two eggs cooked any style, a three-cheese omelet, a farmers'-market-egg-white frittata, a breakfast pizza, and the classic steak 'n' eggs. But it’s the green eggs 'n' crab ($16) that stands out and begs to be ordered. Seafood with eggs might not sound appealing, but this dish works. The jumbo lump crabcake isn’t overpowering, the roasted tomato fondue provides a nice acidity, and delicate basil hollandaise sauce provides a sweet finish and ties the whole thing together.
Steamed mussels ($15) might not seem a typical brunch item, but it’s the must-have dish at RMS. Bivalves float in a pool of spicy tomato broth with slivers of chorizo and piquillo peppers. One you’ve fished all the mussels, drink the broth like a soup – it’s that good.
Another winner is the slow-roasted prime rib sandwich ($20), which packs generous amounts of meat with sambal aioli, pickled fennel, and arugula on a brioche bun. It’s served with homemade fries, and it’s definitely a hangover cure.
On the sweet side are Greek yogurt and homemade granola ($12), brioche French toast ($12), buttermilk steel-cut oatmeal brûlée ($9), a triple chocolate tart ($14), and basil panna cotta ($12). Hotcake devotees can choose between MGFD’s lemon-ricotta pancakes with blueberry/Thai basil compote ($13) or the gluten-free dried-cherry-and-hazelnut variety served with organic maple syrup ($14). The more healthful and nonguilty latter option is where it’s at.
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