It’s no secret that we at I Heart Brunch have a soft spot in our hearts for Mexi-brunch, so we’re always excited about new restaurants that can satisfy that craving. From the same folks behind Ofrenda in the West Village, The Black Ant has been open in the East Village for a few months now and just added brunch to their menu, so we were eager to try it out. We’re happy to report that The Black Ant lived up to its early Yelp hype and did not disappoint!
Let’s start with the ambiance. It’s a really fun space—long and narrow and somehow modern and vintage and trendy all at the same time. There is a range of seating options from traditional to bench seating facing the bar (great for solo diners) to tall cocktail tables with barstools on the small street-side patio (great for people-watching).
And the service was great as well. Everyone we met was so friendly and seemed truly passionate about the food. They were happy to make recommendations (and accommodations) with a smile, and got us excited about options we might not have necessarily considered without their explanations.
And oh yeah…the food! We started with the Ensalada Mixta, a pretty mixture of heirloom tomatoes and arugula and fruits to kick our meal off on a lighter note. We tried to stay “good” and skip the guacamole, but thankfully listened to our server and tried it—yum!
For the entrees, the winner was hands down the Huevos Pochados con Langosta, Black Ant’s take on a lobster benedict. Perfectly poached eggs were carefully placed atop a generous portion of fresh lobster on warm jalapeno biscuits and covered in a chorizo gravy. It was a rich and hearty dish that holds up to some of the best benedicts around and we’re still licking our lips thinking about it.
The vegetarian in our party noticed that the menu lacked a savory veg option. It would be nice if they added a veggie option to the menu, but the server was more than happy to work with her to create a modified version of Los Rancheros de Teresa. This basically turned into a create-your-own scramble, accompanied by sides of black beans and hash browns, which were actually more like finely diced home fries. Probably not how the chef intended it, but we were satisfied and appreciated the accommodations.
We nearly ordered the Pan de Dulce —a Mexican-style French toast with Manchego toast, salted caramel, berries pico de gallo, and verbena ice cream —for dessert but we were just too full. We’ll have to get it next time along with the Duck & Eggs or Grilled Octopus Bacon Roll that we sadly missed out on trying.
Overall, The Black Ant is a welcome new Mexi-brunch in a city that doesn’t have enough. Try it before everyone else discovers it!
Overall: 4.5 hearts
The Black Ant
60 2nd Ave (b/t 3rd and 4th St.) in the East Village, NYC
Brunch Hours: 11am – 3pm (Saturdays and Sundays)