Bernadette’s Brings All-Day Breakfast  to Rockaway

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There’s a popular saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Well at new Restaurant Row café, Bernadette’s, you can have a breakfast fit for the gods, all day, and we’re not just talking about a bagel. Instead wrap your foodie fixations around brioche french toast, served with macerated berries, candied kumquats, berry coulis, and allspice butter. Drooling yet? What’s even more appealing is that owners, Tyree and Marcel Robinson, didn’t earn their cooking stripes in a highfalutin’ culinary school, but at home in the cafe’s namesakes’ kitchens, their mom and grandmother, Bernadette.

According to Tyree, the Robinsons learned the art of cooking from their mom, and it became a passion. “Food was always a positive experience in our home, and cooking is a family tradition that passed on to each generation. I’ve worked in restaurants for over 12 years, but my brother and I shared the same dream to open our own place, where we could serve the food that we were reared on, and finally Bernadette’s became a reality,” Robinson said.

The Robinson brothers are familiar faces in Rockaway. Originally from Manchester, New Hampshire, they moved to Rockaway just after Hurricane Sandy, and worked at Playland, the Rockaway Beach Surf Club and Rippers. “Rockaway is home for us, and to be able to open Bernadette’s here just brings us the greatest satisfaction,” Marcel said, with Tyree adding, “We felt there were limited breakfast options here. This community has a really great variety of diners and bagel stores, but we just wanted to fill in the void for people on the hunt for down-home cooking. As a community, it’s all about supporting each other and unitedly making Rockaway even better for people looking for options, not just during the summer season, but year-round, and that’s what we want Bernadette’s to be.”

The café just opened this past Monday, at the old Beach Bistro 96 restaurant, and is already the talk of the town. Walk in and you’ll understand why. It’s not just the rustic, intimate, cozy setting that immediately makes you feel right at home, but the food being devoured by patrons, that will make your eyes grow as big as the plates they are placed on. For example, the chicken and waffles is not your average fried chicken and waffles a la IHOP, but instead, envision a citrus-chili brined chicken, served with southern waffles, sinfully drizzled with kumquat-honey butter, bourbon maple syrup and mint. Divine! The steak and eggs consists of ribeye steak, served with chimichurri sauce, poached eggs, yukon gold hash and micro greens. The Bernadette’s Benny is an Eggs Benedict made with house-smoked pork belly, poached eggs, hollandaise sauce served with an English muffin and micro greens. Hungry yet? These are just teasers. Put the menu on your nightstand, and it will become your bedtime story, making you restless for the morning to come so you can seize the day with a delicious meal at Bernadette’s.

According to the Robinsons, all the ingredients are freshly-sourced, and everything is made from scratch, so don’t expect pancake mix or syrup from Aunt Jemima. Also the assortment of juices including apple, orange and green juice are all cold-pressed. And what would a café be without coffee, cold brew, matcha and homemade iced tea and lemonade? Bernadette’s is definitely a one-stop shop for breakfast and brunch lovers.

For the decor, the brothers said they used wood they chopped themselves in New Hampshire to build the paneling and tables. “We really wanted Bernadette’s to feel like you’re at home, eating at the table with friends and family. The focus is on the food and the company you’re with, nothing else that would distract you from having a genuine at-home experience,” Tyree said.

So come feel at home at Bernadette’s, where you can have breakfast and brunch all day with simple food, not just beautifully presented, but absolutely heavenly.

Bernadette’s is located at 95-19 Rockaway Beach Blvd. The cafe’s hours are 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.on  weekends. For more info, check them out on at Instagram: @bernadettesrockaway.

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