New Yorkers who brunch may have a new favorite hotspot on Staten Island. Zagat’s Billy Lyons checks out Project Brunch in this Let’s Eat report.
At Project Brunch, guests don't need to wait until the weekend to chow down on corn beef hash or waffles. That's because the restaurant offers an all-day brunch menu six days a week. The concept has become an immediate hit with locals and brunch lovers from all corners of the city. So, how did the renegade idea come to fruition?
"We wanted a place that was just accessible to anybody, for all ages, and we wanted to have fun food" noted co-owner Jodi Guagliardo. A veteran of the restaurant industry, Guagliardo noted that the traditional brunch restaurants in Staten Island were typically large venues that had guests creating their own plates from trays. Guagliardo was interested in a more intimate and family friendly experience, which is why she and co-owner Nicholas Granata decided they would have to the ones to make this dream a reality.
For Granata, who serves as the restaurant's Executive Chef, brunch isn't just any meal. "The creativity part. We'll sit up at night time and we'll think about different dishes to come up with" Granata noted. However, brunch hasn't always been a beloved meal, even in New York.
Jeremy Jacobowitz, whose popular Instagram account @brunchboys is dedicated to highlighting the meal, attributes Bobby Flay and the rise of food TV shows as one reason people have become more interested in brunch. "Five to ten years ago, nobody cared about brunch. It really wasn't a thing. I do think a really big part of it was Bobby Flay. He really pushed hard for brunch having his brunch cooking show. Did he start it, I don't know, but he made it more mainstream" Jacobowitz explains. The fact @brunchboys is one of the most followed food Instagram accounts at over 154,000 followers is a testament to that theory.