Thick-cut French toast with apples, pecans, and maple syrup is the star of Anella’s weekend brunch menu. CHOW.com contributing editor Liza de Guia filed the following report.
Anella, one of my favorite go-to brunch spots in Brooklyn. It’s a rustic, friendly trattoria on the back streets of Greenpoint - a little out of the way for most people - but worth it. Their French toast is one of the best you’ll find in the city.
Inside the space is homey and casual, warm with light wood details and cozy booths that make you wanna settle in for a lazy day. Here, the brunch menu is a small, seasonal selection of well-prepared egg dishes and sandwiches; but, the real star is the “Apple, Pecan & Maple Syrup French Toast.”
Large buttery brioche loaves are cut into thick one-and-a-half-inch slices, then dipped into a batter made of Half-n-Half, eggs, maple syrup and salt. It’s then sauteed in butter, nicely browned on both sides, and finished in the oven for five minutes.
While that sets, the chef cooks up the best part of the dish: the sauce. In a pan, he combines butter, maple syrup, fresh ground nutmeg, ground cinnamon and vanilla extract over low heat. Then, he adds a handful of local Gala and Honeycrisp apples, spooning the sauce over them until a syrupy consistency develops. Finally, he stirs in a ½ cup of toasted pecans into the sauce before pouring it to coat and cover the warm, eggy toast.
The final dish is beautiful, aromatic and filling - sure to conjure up jealousy from friends who might have ordered something else. Every bite is sweet, syrupy and tender with that right hint of salt and sweet crunch from the pecans and apples. You can’t go wrong starting a weekend like this.
No matter what, make sure you also try their version of a bloody mary. It’s a spicy drink that’ll bite you back.
Anella is located at 222 Franklin Street between Green & Huron Street in Greenpoint. For more dining recommendations, visit CHOW.com.