Lively-est brunch in Manhattan

In New York, brunch is more than just a meal. For most, it’s that one chance to indulge, regardless of tax bracket. You find an upscale restaurant, sip a champagne cocktail and order dishes you could never prepare on your own. Most important, you work hard to seem nonchalant, as if you live this way every day. Of course, if you’re visiting the city, you also want at least one celebrity sighting. So, if you could nab a celeb while scarfing brunch, you complete your vacation without tying up the sidewalk on 34th and Madison (and slowing my commute).

So, two birds, one stone? Try Norma’s, in Le Parker Meridien. The brunch is fantastic and expensive, so you will get the full experience. In addition to waiting 20 minutes past your reservation to be seated, you’ll enjoy the occasional star sighting. Men, if you want to score big with your wives or girlfriends, arrange to be there on a Sunday after noon. It’s no secret that Gossip Girl‘s Blake Lively loves Norma’s, and I can confirm that she prefers an early afternoon brunch on Sunday (at least as of a few weeks ago).

Oh, and the coffee’s great, too.