Best Sunday Brunch

La Dolce Via

Although the decadent brownies and cakes sold at La Dolce Via ensure that the restaurant lives up to its name — translation: "the sweet way" — the corner spot's weekend brunch menu really hits the sweet spot. A bowl of peaches and cream is sublime; the tartness of the fruit only faintly muted by the rich dairy. Blueberry pancakes are so sweet and tangy that the maple syrup and dollop of butter are unnecessary. (The contrast in flavors between plump blackberries and raspberries and the doughy scone is just as tantalizing.) And then there are the egg scrambles, which often feature unorthodox ingredients — thin medallions of squash, Gruyère cheese, exotic mushrooms — that never disappoint. More important than food is atmosphere, though — and La Dolce Via has that in spades, from the calming morning music (everything from subtle indie rockers like the Shins and Joanna Newsom to rocker Janis Joplin) to the cheerful mix of neighborhood characters, college students and families lingering over coffee and food. To treat yourself to brunch at La Dolce Via is to treat yourself to one of the city's sweetest, most unpretentious institutions.

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