The Australians invaded the Upper West Side a few months ago, and this past weekend I finally checked it out for myself.
The Sunburnt Calf, the West side outpost of perennial East Village brunch favorite The Sunburnt Cow, is a welcome addition to the Upper West Side brunch scene. What’s not to love about an $18 brunch that includes entree and unlimited brunch drinks?
Australian owned and operated (everyone working had that lovely Australian accent), the Sunburnt Calf seems to be just another dimly-lit bar. The entrance is below ground level, a half a flight, and it takes a while for the eyes to adjust to the low light, with red accented track lighting. As I was the first of my party of two to arrive, I opted to hang out at the bar. Apparently, one is not allowed to sit at the bar without first doing a shot, thus a “baby shot” was poured; something raspberry and very girly.
Once our party was complete, we were seated at the back, and just like that, darkness became light. The dining space at the back is small, but bright and welcoming. A mural, depicting the Australian outback is displayed on the three walls. For sporting events, a large screen appears for games to be projected upon.
For a restaurant serving unlimited brunch drinks, it would seem the food doesn’t necessarily need to be stellar… but it was great. The Eggs Benedict is made with bacon instead of ham, and is lovely. My friend ordered the omelet, and was equally pleased with her selection. And yes, the brunch drinks really are unlimited, as my Bloody Mary (Moo Mary) was replaced two times over. For those who ordered Mimosas, the servers walked around with pitchers, never letting patrons see the bottoms of their glass. If that wasn’t enough, as the check arrived, so did two more of those girly shots.
It’s easy to see why patrons of the Sunburnt Calf exit back into the world happy, and this seems to be the goal of the staff as at every turn the staff was friendly and helpful. While my experience was brunch only, I can imagine this ethos carries out through the day. Needless to say, I will definitely be back.
For More Information
The Sunburnt Calf
226 West 79th Street