Beyond eggs Benedict: 4 dishes to mix up your brunch routine

New Yorkers have strong opinions about many things, and brunch is no different. The leisurely mid-day meal is as synonymous with the city as taxi cabs and bagels. But if you are tired of the standard fare, several restaurants offer off-the-beaten-path dishes to both tantalize and confuse your taste buds. From steamed egg custard to ravioli Benedict, these unique plates take familiar flavors to a whole new level.


The ravioli Benedict at Il Tesoro

At this Upper East Side restaurant, Sicilian-born Chef AJ Black brings the techniques of his Italian heritage to each meal. The result is a brunch menu that features velvety poached eggs on top of a variety of ravioli combinations and earthy polenta with roasted vegetables and a runny egg. The standout, though, is the ravioli Benedict. Black’s homemade pasta with cinnamon-apple filling, mushroom sauce and a poached egg will make even the most steadfast brunch-goer rethink what defines the brunch staple. “We thought that’s something different totally,” said Black. “Like a new invention in Italian cuisine.” $15; 1578 First Ave., 212-861-9620, iltesoro.com


The suburban pizza at Emily

When husband and wife team Emily and Matt Hyland opened their Italian restaurant, they wanted to be creative with their pies. No exception is the suburban hangover pizza. This atypical breakfast item consists of an egg that is sous-vided and then baked on handmade dough with bacon and fontina cheese. “[It’s] just like the bacon, egg and cheeses you get in the suburbs on a Sunday morning,” said Emily, who, like her husband, was raised in the suburbs of New York. “We just want pizza to be fun and exploratory.” $16; 919 Fulton St., Clinton Hill, 347-844-9588, pizzalovesemily.com


The breakfast sushi at Destination Bar

When crafting his brunch menu, co-owner Dan Maccarone wanted items in typical bar flavors that people could share. And thus, breakfast sushi was born. The intriguingly-named concoction features eggs and cheddar cheese wrapped in bacon, which is slathered in maple syrup before cooked. No surprise, breakfast sushi has been a bestseller since day one. “It’s fun, it’s different,” said Maccarone. “People love to talk about it.” $8, 211 Avenue A, 212-388-9844, destinationbarnyc.com


The chawanmushi at En Japanese Brasserie

Sick of the same old egg dishes? Head to this West Village spot for a unique Japanese-American fusion of flavor, especially on its brunch menu. Instead of omelets, for example, there’s the chawanmushi, a steamed egg custard with kurobuta sausage and mushrooms served with a mizuna and watercress salad on the side. Still, there are some standard breakfast components to the hearty dish: it comes with toast. $15; 435 Hudson St., 212-647-9196, enjb.com