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Reviving A Classic Brunch Tradition

HIMROD – There was a time when Sunday brunch was ubiquitous in the Finger Lakes. The late morning, early afternoon meal was a mix of the best of breakfast and dinner, usually complimented by Mimosas and Bloody Marys. It made for a pricey, but one-meal-for-the-day experience.
Chefs and customers, over time, struggled with the genre.
Big crowds required big buffets and time on food line didn’t serve the food quality or the customer patience too well.
Today, there are few of the classic brunches left. Even the Belhurst has eliminated the weekly ritual, though its website says it will resurrect it for planned parties of 20 or more.
But starting this Sunday – and every first Sunday of the month going forward – Finger Lakes Chef Brud Holland will be resurrecting the genre at Sapalta, his new farm-to-table restaurant at the Plum Point Lodge on Seneca.
Holland said his secret is to treat the buffet as a live order, not a mass feeding.
“It is important to have the items staged properly so the wait staff can help us replace the items immediately as they are depleted,’’ Holland said. “You don’t load it up with massive amounts. You know the flow of your patrons and you keep up with them – but just. It is not easy, but it can work.’’
Holland demonstrated his brunch skill by having the chutzpah to open this new lakeside restaurant for Mother’s Day.More than 150 diners moved easily through his ten-item buffet, which included a number of delicate dishes – including Eggs Benedict, an item that traditionally gets soggy and old quickly in a chafing dish. His were perfect. So were the brunch potatoes, pancakes, french toast, sausage, bacon and smoked salmon that will return for this First Sunday Brunch.
“We know how to handle the brunch dishes,’’ Holland says. “If I can’t put out top quality items, what’s the use of having a buffet?’’
Holland’s fare this Sunday will also be bringing back another honored tradition – what he calls “Endless Mimosas.’’ For $10, customers can keep drinking the Champaign and orange juice classic throughout the their brunch seating.
Sapalta is located 19 miles south of Geneva on Seneca Lakes’ western shore. Its located within the Plum Point Lodge, a newly renovated resort once known as the Rainbow Cove Resort. Food is served with a view of the nearby lake from every table.
Brunch on the first Sunday of each month is from 8 a.m. to 12. Daily breakfast on all other days is 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Sapalta's First Sunday Brunch is $24 (kids 12 and under $12). Mimosas are always available – but only “endless” for $10 on theses First Sunday Brunches.

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