There’s something about a meal that is lovingly and artfully prepared in such a way that old flavors become new and new flavors encourage exploration in home kitchens.
That’s what can be found from the brunch fare at Sylvain. Nestled on Chartres Street, right off Jackson square, this gem is easy to miss - and we did, walking right past the unassuming alley entrance and having to double back. Utilizing the alley entrance adds to the atmosphere that Sylvain creates through embracing the natural beauty of the space they occupy and highlighting the two centuries old building.
As is natural with brunch, the drinks came before the food. The bloody Maria was delicious, though the tequila may have been more overpowering of the flavors of the housemade mix. Though, that means we just need to go back to try that bloody Mary. Fresh, in season tomatoes are used for the mix whenever possible, creating a flavor profile that really allows the tomato to shine. Another highlight of the brunch beverage menu was the Lazarus. This light, refreshing cocktail was a refreshing option on what was developing into an oppressively hot day. Though we didn’t try the mimosa on menu, this spritz has the spirit of a mimosa with a bit more jazz thrown in.
Now, to the food. Oh that food.
We started the meal with a halloumi and melon small plate. Shared between three of us, there was enough for us each to enjoy and pick out extras of the bits we liked best. The light, fresh summer flavors of this dish cannot be understated. The brightness of the watermelon paired with the saltiness of the halloumi combined with the surprise spice of black pepper sprinkled on top offered a refreshing, flavorful appetite-whetter.
For our main course, we each selected something different so we could experience a full palette of flavors and boy, did we not regret a second of our decisions. On the menu for us was:
Pork shoulder braised in harrasa bbq on heirloom grits topped with local box peppers
Eggs benedicts with seasoned pork shoulder on top of fried green tomato
French toach with coconut and peaches seasons with cardamon
I had the french toast, not my usual section for brunch, but those peaches were calling to me on such a sweltering day and I relished each bite that combined sweet and savory in a delicate way.
We finished off our brunch with a cool and refreshing house-made gelato.
From the food to the exquisite service, this was wasn’t just a brunch but a full dining experience that I, personally, am eager to repeat. Sylvain is a sensuous spot to grab a brunch you won’t soon forget.
Sylvain serves brunch Friday through Sunday from 10:30am to 2:30pm.