Sunday, March 24, 2013

New York Style Cafe in Hoboken

Elysian Cafe
1001 Washington St. (10th St.)
Hoboken, NJ 07030

We have been told multiple times that we absolutely have to check out Amanda's in Hoboken, NJ. Although we have yet to find an excuse to check it out, last Sunday morning we were craving brunch. It was too late to make a reservation at Amanda's, so we decided to walk down the street to it's sister restaurant, Elysian Cafe. We were able to walk in and wait less than 10 minutes for a table. It is reminiscent of a trendy NYC cafe, the ceilings were beautiful, and the whole ambience was very welcoming and upscale.

One of us ordered the salmon eggs benedict, while the other ordered the croque madame, both with an order of pomme frites. We also ordered some afternoon cocktails to get into the full brunch mode; a mimosa and a Bloody Mary. When our entrees arrived the initial reaction were that they were extremely small; usually with breakfast/brunch you are given a reasonably sized portion. However, after tasting them, the problem was no longer that they were too small. 

The Eggs Benedict with smoked salmon was underwhelming. The english muffin tasted store bought, and was not thick enough to hold up to the flavors it was supporting. The smoked salmon was fine, and the egg was cooked perfectly, but the hollandaise sauce lacked seasoning and didn't harmoniously bond the dish together like most others. The pommes frites were the star of the dish, perfectly fried and seasoned well, but when the side is the star, the dish usually falls flat. 
The Croque Madame came out and looked pretty charred. Between the two pieces of bread were ham, gruyere, and a fried egg. We were excited for this upscale version of a ham, egg, and cheese, but this dish fell flat. The ham was sparse and the cheese, although delicious, was barely melted, which was surprising considering the bread was burnt. The flavor was, again, underwhelming. In the end with both dishes, our tastebuds were screaming for some seasoning, so we grabbed some pommes frites.
We had decided on Elysian Cafe through word of mouth and the fact that it's parent restaurant is Amanda's. Unfortunately, the food did not match the exquisite ambiance of this Hoboken brunch spot. We tend to judge breakfast and brunch a little harsher because there are truly so many great spots within a 15 mile radius to get both. In an ultra competitive area, where option are the least of your problems and you can throw a stone and hit a good restaurant, we simply cannot support Elysian Cafe being your first choice. 

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