This week, we're taking a look at the weekend brunch at Northstar Public House. Now four years old, this neighborhood bistro in Fall Creek north of downtown Ithaca has a great variety of freshly prepared food made from seasonal ingredients, and on Saturday and Sunday, they have a deservedly popular brunch.
Start with a mimosa or a bloody mary. This is, after all, a bar with great cocktails -- and of course, on Sundays you have to wait until noon for booze. Or enjoy a cup of excellent coffee. Pricy, but probably worth it.
Northstar prides itself on using local and sustainable ingredients when possible, and it shows in dishes like the fresh berry crepes, a recent menu variation. There's a "crepe du jour," just as evenings bring a "mac and cheese du jour" to the Northstar menu.
Breakfast potatoes with Autumn's Harvest sausage gravy and local eggs.Heartier weekend fare still involves local ingredients, like the Autumn's Harvest sausage in the sausage gravy served over breakfast potatoes and topped with local eggs. Vegetarians can skip the sausage and go with a mushroom gravy version that's every bit as rich and delicious. Keep an eye out for interesting brunch specials, such as shrimp and grits.
Beignets. Like donuts, but better.Other weekend options include Northstar's excellent garlic burger, and we suggest splitting a batch of beignets for the table. Served hot and crisp, they're like donuts, but better. The beignets make a great appetizer, and of course, dessert is available even at brunch time. (Bread pudding makes a good brunch dessert. Just saying.)
Plan on spending $12-20 on brunch, and if you're not the wait-for-a-table sort, try going on Saturday, when there's less likely to be a long wait. Or go, get your name on the list, and relax with your first mug of coffee. Find Northstar Public House at 202 East Falls Street at the north end of North Tioga Street or northstarpub.com, or call them at 607-216-8580 and tell them you heard about them here.