New York City, New York
Belonging to renowned New York chef and restaurateur John De Lucie, the Lion sits comfortably as a partner to the New York heavyweights:The Waverly Inn, Minetta Tavern and the legendary Monkey Bar. With a discreet entrance just north of Washington Square Park, the Lion is a charming enclave in the West Village reminiscent of an English tavern with heavy emphasis on dark wood features, round wood chandeliers and a mixture of photos on the walls. Unlike a tavern though, the Lion boasts a beautifully adorned central dining room in a double height space, and different to your typical English tavern, the seats are very comfortable with tables well spaced making the ambience cosy yet spacious. On the matter of brunch, which is when I visited the Lion after a very long night of partying, the experience was par excellence and the food provided the much-needed nourishment for recuperation. To start I ordered the Bloody Mary (the non spicy version), which is sufficiently spicy in its own right, so I can’t imagine what the spicy one contains! It was the perfect pick me up, delicious and fulfilling. Starters were ordered to share and we got the shrimp cocktail, which was very fresh with an excellent cocktail sauce (not as good at Ed’s Lobster Bar though). On a lighter note, we also ordered the heirloom salad that came served with fresh avocado, as well as the avocado on toast that proved to be an exceptional choice. What impressed however were the muffins that were served as a precursor to the meal, a substitute to your ordinary bread and butter basket. The muffins, served with maple honey butter, were freshly baked, warm and divine, and worth placing as a menu item. For mains I ordered the Eggs Royale, while a friend went for the Eggs Benedict with crispy bacon, and my other friend ordered the omelette with salmon and fine herbs. All choices were excellently cooked and beautifully presented, where special mention must be attributed to the hollandaise sauce, which was spot on perfection in flavour and texture. With three starters down, a main and a Bloody Mary, we were unfortunately too full to proceed onto desserts and concluded this great meal with a shot of espresso. The Lion lives up to its hype and it comes as no surprise as being one the hottest brunch spots in the city needing a reservation of up to three weeks in advance. Totally worth it.