Raspberries and Jammies

Brunch at a downtown club

As I chewed my omelette, I couldn’t help but wonder if two drunken twenty-somethings had been hooking up on the same couch the night before.

The Living Room in downtown Boston is a hip bar/club on Saturday night turned lazy brunch nook come Sunday morning. The theme for brunch is the “Pajama Party,” and patrons are encouraged to wear their PJs and relax during a good meal. During our visit, however, the only people wearing their Pooh-bear slippers were the three servers and myself.

Despite the disappointing absence of jammies, the atmosphere at The Living Room, located on Atlantic Ave. near the Aquarium, was cozy. We were given the choice of two eating areas, the bar area and the sit-down restaurant room, but stiff dining room chairs just aren’t appealing that early in the morning. We opted for the roomy bar area, where six or seven comfy couches and a number of easy chairs bask in streams of natural light. A big screen television in the corner projects the latest CNBC headlines. Across the room are two empty bars with lonely stools, a reminder of last night’s debauchery. The couches’ soft cushioning allows last night’s drunks to nurse their hangovers. Yuppies come to kick back, eat off coffee tables and read the Boston Globe to the soft background music of John Mayer and Norah Jones.

I didn’t come for the music, though: I came for the food. We began with the fresh fruit salad. It was a nice medley of strawberries, raspberries and grapes, with none of the slimy bananas which tend to ruin fruit salads. My date, Lisa D. Lareau, commented, “Everything has a nice tart freshness to it.”

After such a promising start, The Living Room kept the freshness coming. The stack of raspberry pancakes was delightful (and, at $5, affordable), and the French toast with cinnamon apples, with its perfect degrees of sweetness and round-the-edge-crispness, had me rolling over on the sofa with glee. And while I admit to a certain preference for omelettes, even those who are not egg-aficionados would acknowledge the superiority of the four-egg omelette. The concoction of bacon, onions, green peppers, mushrooms and cheddar cheese was moist without being soggy. Though the menu definitely favors the breakfast side of brunch, there is still a selection for the lunch-inclined, ranging from a build-your-own-burger to a tempting starter of spinach and artichoke pot stickers.

The food is definitely excellent, but what makes The Living Room stand out from other breakfast places is its laid-back ambience and the fact that Mom won’t yell at you for eating on the couch. We sat for two hours and never felt pressured to leave. The best part is that when you’re done, you don’t have to return to your dorm for the old after-meal nap. Just drop your fork and lean back.