Fine Dining Vets Take On Eggs and Waffles

This is The Feast 14, in which we highlight the most anticipated projects of the new season. Here now, Charlie Trotter's veteran Greg Ellis explains his forthcoming breakfast-only restaurant, 2Sparrows.

Partners Greg Ellis and Steve Fladung have cooked in some of the city's most respected fine dining kitchens, but for their next venture, 2Sparrows, set to open mid-month, the pair will focus on the most important meal of the day—breakfast. While they plan to serve crowd-pleasers like doughnuts and eggs, they stress that they're not just another brunch spot. The Feast spoke with chef Greg Ellis to learn how he transitioned from foie gras to frittatas.

How will your fine dining background translate to breakfast?
You'll be getting the same high quality service and high quality food (like you would at Trotter's) at our breakfast establishment. Ingredients will be sourced locally, and most everything will be made in-house, including our doughnuts. We'll make them with Spence Farms maple syrup and house-cured bacon on top. We also want to do our own version of Pop Tarts with seasonal flavors like foie gras and cherry.

So why breakfast and lunch only?
Breakfast is an underrated meal. I have a big love affair with breakfast, because it’s part of a lifestyle. We thought of our friends who work in the kitchens at L2O or Trotter’s or Alinea, and we want them to be able to come in for a great breakfast before heading off to those kitchens. You’re brightening people’s day when you fill them up with a good breakfast.

What will prices be like?
Entrees will be in the $10-$12 range, while sides like Pop Tarts or doughnuts would be shareable portions for $4-$5.

Will it feel more like fine dining or more like a casual restaurant?
The comparison to The Bristol is a good one. The food will feel like fine dining but the atmosphere will be casual. We want families to come in. If your kid doesn't see something he likes, I'm confident that I can make something.

What's on the menu for adults?
There will be staples like biscuits and gravy, for example. But it might be made with a lamb sausage instead of pork. One of the dishes I'm most excited about is eggs Benedict, but with a build-your-own hollandaise sauce. Floated on top of the hollandaise will be some sort of flavor that you can choose, like red pepper or a Bearnaise reduction. There will be pancakes and French toast, but not just topped with maple syrup.

There are already high-end brunches in the city. How will you set 2Sparrows apart?
We want to bring it to people every day. During the week, the only options are Golden Nugget or diners. Here, you're not going to get pancakes and eggs for $1.99 and go home regretting what you ate. [The Feast]

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