Tips from The Corner Table
Hello there! Your local restaurateurs here, Larry and Carla Erickson of Jesse Camille’s Restaurant, providing you with foodie tips and wine lines, travel tales and suggested ales from The Corner Table which we hope you will savor, sip and find satisfactory to your palate!
“Call me! We’ll do brunch.”
Brunch. It’s not exclusively breakfast. It’s not exclusively lunch. It’s in between. Kinda like a meal purgatory. But it sure is a yummy purgatory!
The word “brunch” first appeared in an article in 1895. The author, beckoning for an alternative to the cumbersome post-church meal, offered “brunch” as a cheerful option, claiming “it puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week.” Smithsonian.com, Jesse Rhodes, 5/6/2011.
Hmmmm. I always thought that was what wine was for. But brunch is a good choice, too!
People finally embraced the concept of brunch in the 1930s, when late-rising Hollywood stars made it glamorous to enjoy a late-morning breakfast. Back then, brunch was largely hosted at hotels since most restaurants were closed on Sundays. Dining rooms lavishly adorned with impressionist paintings and Tiffany chandeliers served a smorgasbord of foods, paired with fancy Bellinis and Bloody Marys, to wealthy magnates, celebrated movie stars and musical performers. The exclusive meal was eventually mainstreamed and became accessible to average families, especially those who wanted to treat moms to a little respite from the kitchen. Smithsonian.com
It’s amazing how times change. Back then, most women did not work out of the home and brunch offered a break from the drudgery of cooking and cleaning the kitchen. Today, modern women set their alarm clocks for 6 a.m., shove the kids off to school only to head to the job where the paper piles grow, the telephone endlessly rings, and the emails overflow the inbox. Quiet time in the kitchen preparing a meal often provides much-needed sanctuary to present day, busy moms. Indeed, nothing relaxes me more than dicing potatoes for my potato and egg frittata, rolling pork meatballs and plopping them into my San Marzano sauce, and listening to the swoosh of the dishwasher on Sunday Mornings.
Despite my preference for culinary asylum in my kitchen on Sunday mornings, brunch has surged in popularity. The Washington Post recently published an article claiming brunch is the “most important meal of the day.” Washingtonpost.com, Maura Judkis, 1/16/2014. The author reasons that modern Americans are busier than ever, and weekend mornings are generally the only times families and groups of friends can manage to get together. Also, brunch tends to be cheaper, and less of a time commitment, which suits people’s schedules and budgets. And for the younger generation, brunches offering bottomless cocktails are the perfect opportunity to perpetuate Saturday night’s buzz! The New York Post recently published an article claiming New Yorkers have a “brunch obsession,” based upon a study done by the University of Arizona. Nypost.com, Natalie O’Neill, 9/18/2014. That’s right. Move over Derek Jeter . . . the new hot tweets are all about bacon, benedict and Bloody Marys!
For me, Sunday morning has a vibe all its own. It’s like a baptism of sorts, when the sins and pressures of the week that carved wrinkles in my brow subside. I can breathe in the freedom of having nothing to do other than exactly what I want to do, and the liberty of answering to no one, other than to myself. In the summer, I love to roll out of bed, lace up the sneakers, leash up the dog and head out to the walking trail in Cheshire. Just me, the dog and the protective hands of nature sheltering me from the rest of the world. The iPod in my pocket is cranking, and Lionel Ritchie sings it just the way I feel it. My feet are moving, though I feel as though I’m not controlling them, and I’m trying to erase the ringing phone, the towering files, the demanding faces and the obligations of my life. And just as he says it, I wonder to myself. “Why in the world would anyone put chains on me? I’ve paid my dues to make it. Everybody wants me to be, what they want me to be, but I’m not happy when I try to fake it. No. That’s why I’m easy, I’m easy like Sunday Morning.”
That’s the vibe of Sunday brunch. Easy, just like Lionel says. Easy like Sunday morning. No wonder it is so popular!
We recently reached a milestone at Jesse Camille’s – 19 years in business! Over the years, we have seen the fame of brunch surge and sink. When we first opened, we offered a delightful, a la carte Sunday brunch, but we quickly discovered that our guests preferred Sunday dinner, which we still offer from 4-8 p.m. However, post-funeral brunches, baby shower brunches and our holiday brunch buffets never lost steam, and these specialty brunches are still extremely popular and well-attended. Indeed, our Easter Brunch and Mother’s Day Brunch, which offer a carving station with Garlic Crusted Prime Rib, are often totally booked.
Before we officially opened Tavern 1757 in Seymour, and while we were still in the primping and planning stage, we noticed an inordinate amount of traffic in our parking lot, cars pulling in and out, filled with hopeful faces. Often the car window would roll down and the driver would yell out in a desperate plea, “Are you open for brunch?” At first we thought it was strange that people who lived just a little over 10 miles down Route 8 were interested in brunch. But when we opened Tavern 1757 in August, we offered Sunday Brunch and every Sunday since, we have a packed house. It still surprises me that brunch is such a wildly popular meal, but then again, our Sunday Brunch does pack a punch, with “build-your-own” omelette station, homemade Belgium waffles and a Chef’s carving board, not to mention there is no bottom to our Bloody Marys and Mimosas!
If you would like to join us for Sunday Brunch at Tavern 1757, we strongly suggest reservations, as the seductive smell of bacon and Belgium waffles can be overwhelming while you are waiting for a table to open, but fortunately, we often have acoustic jazz guitar to sooth the savage soul, and spring is coming and we will offer outside patio dining and our upper-level Washington Room to accommodate Sunday brunchers. For our Easter and Mother’s Day brunch buffets, which we offer at both restaurants, reservations are best to ensure your party can be accommodated without a long wait times.
So call us. We’ll do brunch! You can reach us at Jesse Camille’s at 203-723-2275 and Tavern 1757 203-516-5461. Check out our websites, www.jessecamilles.com and www.tavern1757.com, like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram for more information about brunch, holiday dining, and upcoming events.