A bright, sunny space that wants to become a part of your neighborhood brunch routine. Andrew Carmellini's latest French bistro meets restaurant meets market is a comfortable corner that doesn't take itself too seriously, for better or for worse.
Lafayette seems as if it were designed for brunch. With two full walls of wide windows, the space takes full advantage of its corner location, and its high ceiling with elegant metallic details emphasizes the breathing room available for a relaxing meal. Thoughtful details abound, from the bone yellow walls, dark wood and blue tiled floors, to the marble countertops and soft, leather benches. The interior seems to glow during the morning and early afternoon hours, an effect that would be lost in the evening, making it the ideal space to enjoy your first meal of the weekend.
The food itself occupies a place that is both classically French and comfortably approachable, with the Smoked Salmon Benedict on brioche with sauce cheron and the Baked Eggs hard-cooked with mushrooms, sausage, and rich red sauce stealing the show. Both are presented in a cast-iron dish, emphasizing the loose, rustic quality of the restaurant. The Egg White Frittata also comes served with truffle mushrooms, reflecting the traditional French influences that dictate every dish. The eggs are always fresh and masterfully cooked, full of thick, rich flavor, embodying the perfect paradigm of Carmellini's cuisine.
Service is quick, but entirely mediocre, standing far in the background of the restaurant's food. While the staff is not as knowledgable as a Carmellini restaurant warrants, the plentiful bakery and warm, fragrant food deserves additional visits, and will certainly cultivate a youthful crowd of culinary-minded regulars better than the typical hot brunch spot du jour ever could.