Don’t let the name fool you. With its airy interior, glowing shelves, and stately facade, Hole in the Wall (292 Bedford Ave.) is far from a…well, you get it.
As the first outpost of the small Aussie chain on the Brooklyn side of the East River, the restaurant earns its desirable location, sharing the corner of Bedford Avenue and Grand Street with high-end neighbors like Maison Premiere and Salt + Charcoal. Unlike those heavy hitters, though, Hole in the Wall boasts a moderately priced menu (all entrées are under $20) with recognizable brunch hits infused with a flair from Oz.
With filling portions — as generous as the spacing between tables amid COVID restrictions — a main dish and a shared side will more than satiate. The restaurant is currently serving only brunch, with plans for dinner service once their liquor license is finalized, but there’s still much to explore in the dozen or so dishes offered for early risers. The mushroom bruschetta is a unique and delectable meal, served on a crusty sourdough softened by the juicy tomatoes, still on the vine, and sautéed mushrooms that sit atop it. For those who hear ‘Australian cuisine’ and crave some barby, the pulled pork Benedict is tender and flavorful. Competing with that main dish is the vibrant and just-sweet-enough beet relish on its side. Pasta and burger options abound as well.
The lone outlier to the savories are the wagon wheel waffles, a fun twist on Belgium waffles that don’t shy away from the sugar: with vanilla whipped cream cheese, fresh strawberry jam, Nutella, and torched marshmallows, this one’s more of a dessert than a main course.
The waitstaff strikes the balance between chatty and chill, and it’s more than the food that feels transportive: the Aussie accents overheard at multiple tables and the al fresco dining outside the classical, Doric column-festooned building indeed feel like inviting relics from some other land.
No small wonder it’s attracting foodies seeking brunch’s next hotspot and workers-from-home in need of some new scenery; the food and atmosphere down under are definitely a cut above.