This past fall, Chef Marcus Samuelsson brought his newest downtown Newark restaurant, Marcus B&P, into what is now the former Hahne & Co. department store building. Marcus B&P is a riff on both American and Mediterranean classics, as well as Portuguese and Spanish influences that surround the Newark area.
Although the restaurant concept is a bit of a departure for Chef Samuelsson—who frequently fuses African-American and Ethiopian comfort food—all is not lost as he cooks up versions of New Jersey staples with his own unique twist. Starting this Saturday (April 14th) and continuing every weekend from here on out, Marcus B&P will be serving brunch with exclusive live jazz performances on Sunday, reminiscent of Samuelsson’s beloved Harlem streets.
The Digest got a preview of what guests can expect to hit the menu and we couldn’t think of a tastier way to enjoy a midday meal. Starting with their “Smothered Cornbread” which is made in-house, it gets topped with a heaping scoop of doro wat (Ethiopian chicken stew) and is finished with a poached egg. Samuelsson also incorporates foreign flavors into his “Crispy Bird” served with a side of Mazi’s piri piri (hot sauce); and “Fried Chicken & Waffles” with cabbage pikliz (Haitian spicy coleslaw), Tassot Hot Honey and a plantain waffle.
Traditional brunch foods include their “New Ark Hanger Steak & Eggs” with a side of smashed potatoes, salsa verde and fried eggs; “Croque Madame” with Taylor Ham (not pork roll), bechamel sauce, fried egg and arugula; and “B&P Scramble” eggs with bacon, cheese and a side of fresh focaccia.
Samuelsson also offers up his take on a Southern staple with rock shrimp served over dueling polenta and grits with pork guanciale and a Hennessy tomato sauce. And it wouldn’t be brunch in New Jersey without their “Nine Seven-3 Pizza Pie” that gets topped with Taylor Ham, cheddar cheese, a drizzle of chili oil and runny egg yolk.
You can check out the brunch menu at Marcus B&P from 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday and don’t forget to follow them at @marcusbpnewark.