Sandwiched between two beautiful parks, the Upper West Side is one of the greenest spots in Manhattan. If you've seen a leafy, residential Manhattan neighborhood depicted on TV or in the movies, there's a decent chance it was the Upper West Side. The family friendly neighborhood has a homey, residential feel, so it's no wonder that the area excels at that most comforting of meals: brunch. And Kirsh Bakery & Kitchen is a notable mainstay that’s doing all the right things to our favorite guilty pleasure: Carbs.
This neighborhood gem plates an array of playful dishes from all different parts of the globe meant to comfort and inspire. Israeli Chef/Owner Dan Kirsh and his wife Anat, are determined to create their own home away from home by inviting guests to enjoy fresh baked goods made daily in-house and a menu of homemade dishes with complex flavors. Everything (yes, everything!) at Kirsh is made from scratch starting with the bread all the way down to the jams and vinaigrettes. And the quality shows.
I was able to get squeezed in for Sunday brunch and was greeted by a wonderful and friendly staff. My server Mica was adorably pleasant and as one of the restaurant's original employees, he was very versed on the menu and provided great recommendations to maximize my carb intake. After careful deliberations I decided to go with the fan-favorite French toast. Kirsh offers both a savory and sweet option which I found so interesting. So I ordered both. Because, why not? Sunday Funday! The bacon, egg and swiss French toast does come with syrup so you can experience that sweet/savory combo and suddenly the whole world makes sense. It's crazy good. Take a seat near the floor the ceiling windows and take in the beautiful sunshine that comes pouring in—try and count how strollers and dogs making their way down the street to Morningside or Central Park.
If French toast is not your thing, there are plenty of other delicious options including a full English breakfast with eggs, black beans, potatoes, house sausage, bacon and grilled tomatoes; steak and eggs with gravy and fried roasted potatoes; shakshuka with two eggs, tomato sauce, aged parmesan and potato rosemary bread with a choice of bacon, sausage or mushroom. Upgrade your brunch with a rosé, cider, or cocktail which are served all day with choices such as Swimming Pool (champagne, cranberry and orange flavored ice), the Kirsh Royal (Cava and cherry syrup) and non-alcoholic frozen mint lemonade. They also have a variety of coffee drinks using their own special blend of coffee from Irving Farm, roasted in upstate New York. Fruit smoothies are available as well with a choice of banana, strawberry, blueberry and mango.
Kirsh also has an all-day menu starts with tantalizing appetizers of grilled eggplant and garlic aioli with tomato confit, parsley and a drizzle of olive oil, served with fresh baked bread made on-premise for a take on building your own bruschetta; and roasted cauliflower, a vegan dish covered in pesto with tahini, pine nuts and sourdough breadcrumbs for a lovely crunch. The mac n’ gruyere can be complemented by adding broccoli, smoked bacon, chicken or mushrooms.
A wide selection of main dishes are also featured with neighborhood favorites such as the made-to-order beef stroganoff with mushrooms and angel hair pasta; a creamy mushroom and zucchini risotto; chicken schnitzel with whipped mashed potatoes and pickled vegetables for a tangy bite; and pappardelle with oregano pesto, tomato and mascarpone, all served with the aim of no one leaving hungry, a philosophy that Kirsh continues to stand by with every dish they make.
Whether you stop in for the super fresh large selection of danishes (cinnamon, strawberry and cream, almond, sweet ricotta, chocolate hazelnut), the daily rotating selection of Babaka with flavors such as Chocolate Hazelnut to Cinnamon or for the full restaurant experience, Kirsh does not disappoint. Come uptown to Kirsh before you take in the sights this Summer. You’ll be charmed by the location and staff, delighted by the menu, fully satisfied with baked goods in hand for tomorrow. Mmmmmm... sounds perfect. Right?