BRUNCH LIKE A NEW YORKER, WITH PLACEINVADERS

DON'T JUST DO BRUNCH, OWN BRUNCH

Brunch and New York City are ubiquitous. It’s an institution, a noun and a verb, a way of life. When you move to New York this is how you get accepted into the city – and there are two lanes on the road to acceptance: the foodie brunch and the boozy brunch. I mean, when else can you get away with drinking before noon without being judged?

I may not be an expert in the field of brunch but one thing that is consistently overlooked in the brunch world is the art of conversation. But what do you do if you want to get away from Yelp and Google and all of the places that claim to be “under-the-radar” but everyone already knows about them? You network. Yes, network. Get out and talk to people. This is how you find out about perfectly curated, pop-up experiences that will be more memorable than any other brunch you’ve had.

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This is how I brunched this past weekend – in a gorgeous and quirky town home with 12 new friends – all thanks to the team at PlaceInvaders.

The brainchild of chef Hagan Blount and Katie Smith-Adair, two food and travel enthusiasts (and two people after my own heart!), PlaceInvaders brings intimate dining experiences in quirky and extraordinary homes – when the owners aren’t home.

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The location wasn’t revealed until the morning of, but that was what made it even more appealing. Being kept on my toes and getting an overwhelming feeling of anticipation and excitement at the element of surprise.

As I waited outside a town home somewhere in between Kips Bay and Gramercy on Saturday morning my anticipation continued to build. I had seen the photos from previous events on PlaceInvaders’ site, but what was I about to walk into? What was it going to look like? Who are the people I was going to spend the next couple hours with?

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Previous “invasions” have included an abandoned 1950s-era New York penthouse, a Phoenix fire house turned bachelor pad, and a Shanghai opium den-inspired condo that once hosted a Notorious B.I.G video shoot, and a 15,000 square foot Berkshires mansion.

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As we walked into our “invasion” we entered the gorgeous home with sky high ceilings and a room that seemed to go on forever we were overwhelmed with the amount of art found in what seemed like every nook and cranny. It felt as though you had stepped into the lovechild institution of The Met and the MoMA. It made sense though, as we came to find the home is owned by a professional photographer.

The appetizers: Brown Butter Shortbread with Summer Peas (front) and Sherried Foie Gras Gougéres (back)

The appetizers: Brown Butter Shortbread with Summer Peas (front) and Sherried Foie Gras Gougéres (back)

Having the brunch in a location with an open floor plan allowed us to wander, chat and watch Chef Alex Sorenson craft delicious farm-to-table gastronomic creations for our four-course meal. The meal took place around a long centerpiece table further encouraging conversation between all us attendees – which is a main focus on these events. The art of the dinner party isn’t dead – it’s being revolutionized.

First Course: Thai-inflected Gazpacho with squid, prawns and coconut

First Course: Thai-inflected Gazpacho with squid, prawns and coconut

Second course: Gently Pickled Potato (seriously that's potato) nests with Marbled Egg and Szechuan chili oil

Second course: Gently Pickled Potato (seriously that's potato) nests with Marbled Egg and Szechuan chili oil

Third/Main Course: Roast duck with duck fat fried rice

Third/Main Course: Roast duck with duck fat fried rice

Towards the end of the morning Smith-Adair and Blount made a toast telling us what PlaceInvaders has allowed them to do and what they are looking to next. Chef Sorenson then followed highlighting his experiences, travels and inspirations that came into the meal which ranged all the way from Zanzibar to Flushing, Queens.

Final course (dessert): Nutmeg cake with sesame brittle, star anise-roasted pineapple and black pepper-palm ice cream. VIA PLACEINVADERS

Final course (dessert): Nutmeg cake with sesame brittle, star anise-roasted pineapple and black pepper-palm ice cream. VIA PLACEINVADERS

Founder Katie Smith-Adair and Chef Alex Sorenson talking about PlaceInvaders and the inspiration for the meal

Founder Katie Smith-Adair and Chef Alex Sorenson talking about PlaceInvaders and the inspiration for the meal

To put it simply, whether you're visiting New York for a weekend or are a local looking for something new, avoid the restaurant scene and experience a "home invasion".

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Tickets for this particular event were priced at $110 each, and range for other events based on the menu and location but always include cocktails, wine and unforgettable food. Plus, you get to hang out in an awe-inspiring private residence you’d never get access to otherwise. Find out more and get tickets to the next PlaceInvaders event here.

Big thank you to Katie from PlaceInvaders for inviting me to share in this life changing meal! It was the best and something I hope to experience again!

XO

Lindsey

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Pin the handy-dandy image below so you don't forget to check out PlaceInvaders the next time they're in your city!

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