Is there anything more soothing to the soul than a leisurely brunch in Center City?
Probably. But for the sake of this argument, let’s just say there isn’t.
Libertine, at 261 S. 13th St., already a New American restaurant presence in the area, recently threw their collective hat into the competitive Gayborhood brunch ring. The sleek, spacious and classy corner space lives up to its name by offering brunch diners unlimited access to their “toast bar” of freshly baked breads, house-made bagels and lovely spreads that are sure to make you throw your carb cautions to the wind and dive right in. Judging by the swarm of people (a 50/50 mix of local residents and Eagles fans pre-gaming it before the afternoon kick-off) attracted to the bread selection, our sentiments were universally shared. There’s also a nice cocktail menu with drinks named after famous libertines to help wash down that massive slab of hearty oat bread you carved for yourself, toasted and slathered with pear butter.
Don’t judge; we’re just getting into the sprit of things here.
The brunch menu is divided into small plates, entrées — with and without eggs — and Eggs Benedict variations.
For the small plates, the fresh-shucked oysters ($15) are delightful, mostly due to the generous portion of lychee sorbet that accompanies each oyster, giving the familiar experience a bracing sweetness. On the egg menu, the Croque Madame ($14) is solid and classic brunch fare: an open-faced sandwich with gruyere cheese and thinly sliced Fleur de Lis ham on fresh sourdough toast. The petite salade and fresh fruit that garnish the dish do wonders to round out the plate. The Fried Chicken Bennie ($13) is a tasty Southern-fried take on the dish, even more so if you amp it up with Libertine’s housemade hot sauce, also available for purchase and well worth taking home.
Libertine is aptly named and sure to be a welcome addition to your Saturday or Sunday morning bacchanalia.
If you go
261 S. 13th Street
Sun.-Thu.: 5-10 p.m.
Fri. & Sat.: 5-11 p.m.
Sat. & Sun.: 10:30 a.m.–3 p.m.