Two favorite Ithaca restaurants add brunch, starting this Sunday

We like brunch. If you’ve been reading 14850 Dining for a while, you probably know that. That hybrid of breakfast and lunch, served at a civilized hour, perhaps with a cocktail, and certainly with a cup of coffee, is a relaxing treat, and we’re always glad to welcome new entries on the scene.

Fancy CoffeeThis weekend, two great Ithaca restaurants jump into the brunch fray: Bandwagon Brewpub and Gola Osteria.

Update: As of spring 2017, neither of these restaurants still offers brunch. Ah well.

The basement bar and eatery that quickly became a favorite after they opened in the fall of 2009, Bandwagon will be serving brunch from 11am to 4pm, focusing on locally sourced, housemade dishes. Their menu for this Sunday includes classic brunch items like Eggs Benedict featuring Piggery ham or a crab cake, biscuits and gravy, an egg white frittata, or vegan french toast, and a lunch selection of their menu favorites, including the BWB Burger, beer-battered catfish sandwich, and, best of all, their infamous shrimp and andouille sausage over cornmeal waffles with red pepper chilli sauce.

Nestled at the intersection of east hill, south hill, and downtown, Gola Osteria is beginning their brunch this Sunday at 12 noon, and opening their deck overlooking Six Mile Creek for the season at the same time. Their menu offers a few brunch stalwarts with a twist, such as panettone french toast or orange and ricotta pancakes, as well as vegetable frittatas, plus a few less-typical items such as oysters, caviar, and — a nod to their nighttime menu — housemade spaghetti alla Carbonara. There’s definitely (and unsurprisingly) an Italian flair to the brunch menu.

Both of these restaurants do a great job with cocktails, as well as wine and beer. Keep in mind that restaurants can’t serve alcoholic beverages along with brunch before 12 noon on Sunday, if you’re heading out earlier in the day.

Downtown landmark Madeline’s, which has long shown an Asian influence, started offering a Sunday dim sum brunch earlier this month. Servers bring food around, you pick what you’d like to eat, and you pay by the plate when you’re done.

Find Bandwagon Brewpub downtown at 114 North Cayuga Street, 607-319-0699, or bandwagonbeer.com, and Gola Osteria at 115 South Quarry Street, 607-273-0333, or golaosteria.com.

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