On a brisk fall weekend, a bunch of friends convened in Saugerties, New York, for a “brunch in the woods” hosted by Matt Kliegman (the man-about-downtown responsible for the ballroom at the Jane Hotel and the Smile) and Noah Bernamoff (the Canadian transplant responsible for introducing Montreal-style smoked meats to the city with his deli-restaurant Mile End). Bernamoff and Kliegman together opened Black Seed, the buzzy Nolita bagelry, in April, and this particular brunch was a chance for them to show off their wares. Kliegman was the literal host (he and his girlfriend rent the 30-acre property), and “since Matt’s the master of social interaction, he also did most of the schmoozing,” Bernamoff says. It was left to Bernamoff to man the fire pit, cooking up some soft-scrambled eggs with butter, cream, and fish roe and grilling a “nice piece of salmon,” while guests nibbled on granola from the Smile as well as Black Seed’s beet-cured lox, whitefish salad, and, of course, lots of Montreal-meets-New York-style bagels (salty, sour, dense, slightly sweet). “If you’re hosting a brunch, always keep in mind that people are a little bit less predictable in the morning,” Bernamoff says. “They wake up at different times, so it’s good to have some food out right away for people to nosh on. It relieves the pressure, if you are cooking eggs or other warm stuff, to have some easy things like yogurt, granola, or some fruit out.” And just as with dinner, a brunchtime charcuterie platter is never a bad idea: “I’m more than happy to eat prosciutto any time of day.”
Assorted Black Seed bagels and cream cheese
*This article appears in the November 10, 2014 issue of New York Magazine.