Locals Know: Belcourt, an (Almost) Hidden Treasure

The seasonally inspired menu, great wine and great brunch keep locals coming back

The East Village eatery Belcourt has a loyal clientele of neighborhood locals who swear by the seasonally-inspired menu, reasonably priced wines and what they swear is one of the best brunches downtown.

Belcourt chef Matt Hamilton earned his chops working as a sous-chef at Five Points and Prune.  At Belcourt, he’s created a neighborhood staple that feels a lot like stepping into a café in Paris.  In fact, all the décor  -- from tables to the antique bar -- are straight out of France.

The menu, however, is what Hamilton calls “comfort food with a wink.” His philosophy pairs the idea of local, sustainable eating with unpretentious, well-priced fare. On a recent visit, the menu included a blood orange salad, a selection of American and European cheese, the pan roasted pork chop with maple bacon and gorgonzola sauce, all paired with a $32/bottle of Rioja.

Hamilton stresses that everything except the bread is made in-house.  That includes the yogurt and all condiments, from ketchup to dressings.

The wine-list recently underwent a revamp, and features a selection of smaller producers from France and Spain, with bottles starting around $28.

It’s brunch that locals say they can’t live without. The extensive menu includes everything from omelets to vanilla and bourbon French toast with house made ricotta,  to the Pani Frattau, made from music-paper bread lasagna with house made ricotta, crème fraiche, parmesan and poached eggs.

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