Sunday Brunching At Be.Steak.A
To divide and conquer — and not end up looking and feeling like a beached whale and her mate at the end of it.
To spend last Sunday morning indulging in the upscale buffet brunch at Campbell’s Be.Steak.A.
Yes, it was an assignment that my husband and I accepted eagerly after Chef-Owner Jeffrey Stout invited us in as his guests.
The brunch, which the restaurant started offering about a year ago, is available Sundays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at $115 per person. Seatings are available both in the dining room and outside on the patio.
When it comes to buffets, everyone has a game plan. Some people like to try a little bit of every single thing. Some key in on the most expensive dishes first and foremost. Many keep piling their plates over and over until deep remorse sets in as the waistband digs in mercilessly.
Our approach was all about playing to our strengths and divvying up the goods. We would each hone in on the dishes that most matched our expertise and preferences, then rendezvous back at the table to taste and share everything.
That meant that my husband, aka Meat Boy, would attack — what else? — the meat station. And myself? Given my very well known predilections, I, of course, would zero in on pastries and desserts.
Chef Patrick Capurro explained that preparations for the Sunday brunch start as early as Wednesday, then laughed, “Then, it’s a mad scramble the day before and the day of to get it all done!”
At the host stand, you’re offered a coupe of either sparkling wine or apple cider, before being shown to your table. A tray of neatly arranged silverware is at your table so you have fresh forks and knives every time you bring back a new plate of food to your table.
In addition to the actual brunch spread, you can add on a la carte items such as cocktails or even astoundingly enough a 36-ounce Tomahawk steak for $140. According to our server, at least one party each Sunday orders that Fliintstone-size hunk of beef. Wow, more power to them!
You’re instructed to start in the kitchen, which is where you’ll find the very on-point croissants and other flaky, buttery pastries, as well as the line of hot food, which includes prime rib and porchetta carved in front of you.
On the right side of the kitchen line are classic brunch dishes such as waffles with toppings galore, an omelet station, and warming dishes brimming with scrambled eggs, sausages, and bacon.
On the left side of the kitchen line are the more creative offerings, including beef and potato hash with Calabrian aioli, deviled pork spareribs, and miso-baked salmon.
There is also toad-in-a-hole, truffled cauliflower arancini, shakshuka, popovers, sliders, caramel apple beignets, cinnamon monkey bread, mushroom risotto, and more.
Back the dining room, you’ll find a bevy of cold dishes, including blini with caviar and all the fixings, oysters on the half shell, poached cocktail shrimp, assorted cheeses and salumi, fresh berries, Caesar salad, hamachi crudo, gazpacho shooters, salmon poke, shrimp salad, and truffled deviled eggs.
Lastly, along the bar is a spread of mini desserts.
They include everything from confetti-sprinkle cake pops, melon boba shot glasses, blueberry cheesecake, and teeny creme brulees to tres leches cake, pineapple upside-down cake, tiramisu, and root beer float cupcakes.
Needing my morning caffeine fix, I ordered an Americano and received one of the best tasting cups of coffee I’d had in a while. Smooth, rich, and sporting a creamy cap on top, every sip was pure pleasure.
My favorite noshes? Definitely any of the pastries; the hamachi crudo with its bright taste and tiny cucumber balls; the crispy-on-the-edges, tender and flavorful ribs; the succulent porchetta that had me going back again and again to my husband’s plate; the golden and cheesy arancini; the indulgent deviled quail eggs so easy to pop into your mouth one after another; the pretty raspberry mousse tart; the bright and lively lemon tart; and the Lilliputian creme brulee, while too teeny to really sport a traditional crackling sugar top, managed to have a sublime smooth velvety texture that was plain irresistible.
As for our crafty plan? It worked — well, sort of.
After getting our fill of brunch, we returned home where I read the Sunday New York Times, then did a 45-minute yoga class. My husband? He promptly took a nap.