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Brunch is back


By now you likely know that Brasserie Saint James reopened its doors after being shuttered for more than nine months. The spot originally shut down to align with government restrictions put in place back in March as related to COVID-19, but never opened back up when it was allowed.

That is, until Jan. 1, when the new year brought a new beginning for the team at Brasserie. With two investors at the helm—after buying out Art Farley—the Brasserie came back with a bang, proffering a long list of new beers as well as dine-in service, including brunch.

Brunch at Brasserie operates much as it used to with some changes in place, but the atmosphere is still just as fun and carefree as ever, and the mimosas are free-flowing should you choose to partake. The lunch/dinner menu is served all day and brunch takes place 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, which means on the right trip you can mix and match items from both menus.

We took advantage of this fact by starting breakfast with an order of poutine, a Canadian specialty not found just anywhere south of the border. Choose between pork and mushroom gravy for this delectable dish, complete with cheddar curds, fries and pulled pork (for a $5 upcharge). It’s decidedly classic, which is the type of poutine that I like best, doused in gravy so no fry turns up dry. And the pulled pork makes it worthy of both a meal and a shareable appetizer.

Aside from the poutine, this excursion was about discovering brunch. The table ordered up several items to share, from the Brasserie Benedict—poached eggs, carved ham and chipotle hollandaise served on an English muffin—to the two-egg breakfast, served any style with patron’s pick of ham, bacon or sausage, confit fingerlings and toast. There is also an option to dive into the twice fried mashed potatoes instead of the fingerlings, a journey we suggest you take at least once.

Brasserie Saint James’ Brioche French Toast and Bacon. Image: Brasserie Saint James

All breakfast dishes we ordered came with sides of fresh fruit, which was a notable stand-out for several reasons. First, it was a good mix of berries and melons, including blackberries, strawberries and blueberries. And in January—the dead of winter when fruit at the grocery stores is wilting on the shelves—this fruit was of extraordinary quality. It was so impressive that we actually inquired about where to get our hands on some of our own (but it looks like we’ll just have to head back to the Brasserie and order up extra sides).

The true standout of the breakfast menu, however, was the French toast. The Brioche French Toast and Bacon was irresistibly crunchy on the outside, made with corn crumbs (it gave off a texture reminiscent of breading foods with crushed corn flakes), and warm and soft on the inside. In addition to fruit, the plate is finished with cherrywood smoked bacon. On the menu it simply says “spices,” so I can’t vouch for what’s inside, but whatever that magical combination is, it works wonders for every appetite.

Order up coffee (no decaf available), juice or a carafe of mimosas (a brunch special that includes a bottle of champagne and a carafe of orange juice to share) to enjoy with your meal, or order honestly anything you want from the full bar. And if you dare, finish your meal with a beer. The new list boasts more than the Belgian varieties the Brasserie has become known for, including a line-up of IPAs that better meet consumer demands.


In person: 901 S. Center St., Reno, NV 89501
Online: https://www.brasseriesaintjames.com/
Call: 775-348-8888
Hours: Tuesday 3 – 8 p.m., Wednesday & Thursday 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., Friday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Closed Mondays

Nora Tarte
Nora Tarte
Nora Heston Tarte is a long-time Reno resident living on the southside of town. In addition to food, her hobbies include wine, hiking, yoga and travel. She is also the managing editor of a regional, lifestyle publication and freelances for other publications most frequently in the travel space. Nora received her bachelor's in Journalism from California State University, Sacramento before graduating from University of Nebraska, Lincoln with a master’s in Professional Journalism. You can follow her travel adventures, and local exploits, on her Instagram account @wanderlust_n_wine.