A Tale Of Two Brunches

Brunch maestro Bahr Rapaport on the possibilities of the most important meal of the weekend.

October 28, 2016 ● 2 min read

There are two types of brunches in this world. 

There's the boozy one, where the food functions as a mere sponge to accommodate bottomless mimosas and several hours of day-drunk behavior; and the less (or not) boozy one, where you might actually care what the food you are eating tastes like. Because serving brunch is practically mandatory if you’re located in a major city, most chefs serve either one or the other—New York chef Bahr Rapaport serves both (the former at his restaurant, Mezetto, and the latter at his other spot, Seabird). He is either nuts or a genius. 

Here, Rapaport makes the case for his philosophy on the controversial meal—one that equally embraces both (dramatically different) styles that he serves.

Rapaport at Mezetto | Via StarChefs

You go to brunch because you are either hungry or bored or are looking for the best alcohol deal in town. I run two brunches with two very different purposes: Mezetto is a fun and playful brunch; it’s a very loud dining environment; we serve mostly hearty dishes that are meant to soak up alcohol. Most of those brunches consist of about 80 percent drinking and 20 percent dining. Seabird, on the other hand, is about the food and the ingredients—I am given the opportunity to give people a real dining experience, like a seafood tower. People do order alcohol—but it’s more like, you’re ordering a bottle of prosecco and making your own mimosas, versus doing the college kid thing of bottomless refills. You go to Mezetto if you want to get fucked up and not do anything the rest of your day; you come to Seabird if you plan on having a productive day.  

It is very interesting that I live these two different lives in two very different worlds. I go from something that is chaotic and fun and loud and has life to something that is very chill and suave. I don’t get annoyed at either. I am thankful for both. Brunch is about being creative and having a good time with your food. No matter what, people don’t want to be serious at brunch. The best philosophy toward brunch—whether it’s a boozy one or not—is to not take yourself too seriously. People are there to catch up and talk and have a good time. And unfortunately—the appeal to most people is going to be the alcohol. So no matter what, you gotta ask yourself: what’s going to soak up the booze? We give the people what they want.

Priya Krishna | Collage by ChefsFeed