I never thought I would find backless shirts and eggs benedict in the same room. Of course, that was before I attended Merkato 55’s belligerent brunch. A bizarre combination of Isabella’s and Ibiza, the Koch Brothers’ weekly Saturday extravaganza is the perfect way to cure Friday’s hangover and ensure Sunday’s headache..
If you’re in search of a leisurely lunch, you should probably opt for the foie gras mousse at Pastis, as the Merkato experience is the opposite of relaxing (and I mean that in the most positive sense). To the disgust of the restaurant’s irritable neighbors, the dining room trembled with techno beats by 3:00 pm; glitterati guests were dancing on tabletops by 4:00 and an entirely unnecessary foghorn was brought into the mix circa 4:15. But with unlimited bottles of rosé and free-flowing champagne, what would one expect?
A favorite of the young-euro set, Saturday’s brunch attracted a healthy assortment of club bunnies and their respective escorts, Brazilian-Botox-beauties and trust fund babies looking to unload some of Daddy’s hard earned cash at the overcrowded mob-scene of a bar: a standard Meatpacking District crowd. Personally, I found the mix to be oversaturated with silicone, shades of spray-tan orange and polyester everything, but there was certainly a selection of characters that did not disappoint.
Take my new friend, Martin, for instance. A sexy twenty-something Swede with a mysterious bank account, the suavely dressed ‘blackout’ spastically danced like an epileptic while simultaneously e-mailing on his Blackberry and subjecting me to his blasé, undeservedly arrogant attitude. It may have just been a language barrier or his aggressive alcohol consumption, but it seemed the gentleman completely forgot how to use words during our decidedly plastic conversation. Making his acquaintance became all the more sweet when I found him bent over outside desperately attempting to discard his liquid lunch.