When it comes to finding the best of Sunday brunches in Queens, where else would you find the “King of the Hill” but in a Crowne Plaza?
The newly-renovated Pavilion Grille at the Crowne Plaza LaGuardia Airport Hotel is once again offering its Sunday prix-fixe Champagne brunch from 11:30 a.m to 3 p.m. The quality and selection is positively regal, as is the service.
We were greeted at the entrance by server Valerie, who asked if we wanted coffee. Moments later, the hostess arrived to whisk us to a quiet table adorned with flowers.
From the moment we were seated, the attentive staff made sure our coffee, fresh squeezed orange (or V-8) juice and Champagne never ran out.
This buffet-style royal repast features something for everyone in the simple but elegant setting. The Pavilion is divided into dining areas by glass paned walls which create intimacy while preserving a feeling of openness.
The hot buffet runs along the picture windows of the main dining room, by the entry courtyard of the hotel. Behind an art-adorned wall is a “throne room” of cold delights: cereals, salads, fresh fruit, pies, cookies and cakes.
On the buffet line, every dish offered a pleasant surprise: hickory-smoked bacon and excellent link sausages; perfectly done scrambled eggs; crpes with a smooth cottage cheese and sour cream filling adorned with fresh raspberries; tender golden waffles with fresh blueberries, eggs benedict and French toast.”
But there’s more on the line - omelets are deftly made to your order, with a wide variety of fillings available. There’s a carving table where a tender and succulent roast of top round beef awaits your selection.
Throughout much of the world, eggs are a late-night snack and other foods start the day. So, we had to try the other dishes for the hot buffet line.
The day’s fish dish, tilapia fillet with pineapple and mango salsa was outstanding - perfectly done and a masterful combination. Medallions of chicken breast in deep mahogany-colored summer gravy with mushrooms were moist and delicious.
Michael, the hotel’s master chef, selects these “non-traditional” brunch dishes depending on the market. Sides included white rice prepared with carrots and celery, and summer vegetables (green and butter beans with carrots) to complement the meats and fish.
Those who aren’t big fans of meat aren’t treated like knaves here. The cold buffet pays tribute to your desires with fresh, colorful and flavorful red potato, beet, bean, cucumber, seafood and green salads.
A word about the sauces and dressings.
Michael has a masterful touch. The Hollandaise is silky and bright with citrus, the horseradish sauce for the roast beef is just pungent enough to complement it and the salads are elevated, not dominated by their dressings.
Even the picky eaters among the kids will be pleased with the wide selection of dry cereals in individual-sized boxes, and fruits including strawberries, blueberries, grapes and slices of melon, cantaloupe, pineapple and watermelon.
It may be difficult though, to get the kids past the other selection in the room - a line of cakes, pies and cookies which are separated from the fruits by a large dish of freshly-whipped cream, just waiting to caress a wedge of deep dark chocolate cake, the silky sinful cheese cake or a mound of those inviting ripe strawberries.
The price for the buffet, $28.95 per person ($12.95 for children five- to 12-years-old; 10 percent discount for 65-and up seniors, plus gratuity and tax) is more than reasonable for an unlimited Champagne brunch of the quality and variety found here.
Brunch at the Crowne Plaza LaGuardia’s Pavilion in Queens is fit for a king.
PAVILION GRILLE CROWNE PLAZA
LAGUARDIA AIRPORT HOTEL
104-04 Ditmars Boulevard
East Elmhurst, NY 11369
Toll free 800-692-5429
All major cards accepted
On-street parking; hotel garage.
Q48, Q23 bus