Since moving downtown last summer we've had the opportunity to sample the brunch offerings at many a restaurant in Back Bay and the South End. One of our favorites for the food, atmosphere, and the price has consistently been Gaslight Brasserie du Coin. While great any time of year, it is particularly nice to eat on the patio on summer mornings when the early afternoon heat has yet to set in.
By far the best option value-wise is the 9.95 prix-fixe menu, available all day Saturday and between 10am and 11am on Sundays. Included with this menu is a glass of either freshly squeezed orange or grapefruit juice, Peet's coffee or tea, and Julia Child's spiced shortbread with raspberry jam. The spiced shortbread is excellent - soft and tangy and very light. It's the perfect bit of sweetness for those who like a more savory breakfast, but still want something to satisfy their sweet tooth.
As for the main dishes, one can choose between the vanilla french toast with Vermont
maple syrup and blueberry compote, an omelette Lyonnaise with gruyere cheese,
potatoes and caramelized onions, and scrambled eggs & cantal fondue served over toasted brioche with fines herbes. The standout here for me is the omelette Lyonnaise - it is incredibly filling and the caramelized onions and gruyere are a match made in heaven. Though not a sweet breakfast fan, the French toast is quite tasty, and you can't go wrong with good maple syrup on anything. The scrambled eggs is for me the weakest of the three, probably because it doesn't have enough of the "cantal fondue" going on, but I still certainly enjoyed it. The regular brunch items range from truffled scrambled egg tartine and caramelized banana crepes, to more lunchy items like croque monsieur and salade niçoise. A diehard smoked salmon fan, I've very much enjoyed the scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, fromage blanc, capers and toast. With many breakfast items involving eggs and smoked salmon, the salmon becomes far too cooked and loses its smoked flavor, but with this omelette that was not the case.
There are also a number of sides to be had such as pain au chocolat or French onion soup, and early morning boozers can partake in the gaslight bloody mary, matin martini, and other fun brunch cocktails. All in all there is something for everyone, and with its very reasonable prices there isn't a reason you shouldn't give Gaslight a mid-morning try!