Yuca Bar. 111 Avenue A, East Village. NYC

New Year’s Day brunch at 4pm? Not many restaurants in Manhattan would be happy to cater for a group of six, hungover and hungry, but Yuca was there to indulge our cravings. Officious service brought us feasts from the Kitchen of Earthly Delights: Crab Cakes Benedictos were fabulous, Yuca Benedictos remained sturdy and tasty under the pressure, and the grilled skirt steak special was what I actually wished I’d chosen – a quality churrasco cut with chimichurri. All specials come with tea/coffee as well as a choice of Bloody Mary, Screwdriver, frozen Margherita, mimosa or sangria; BMs were peppery perfection. For $17 it’s decent value, and all come with excellent rice and beans or home fries.
The space is bustling and energetic, beautifully lit and even though the servers can be curt, they are quick to respond to special requests. We’ll be here more than just the first day of the year.

Subway: 1st/2nd Ave