The first time I heard about the Sundy House was nearly seven years ago. It was when I began working at Gulfstream Media Group, and we printed a mention about its restaurant. And, we misspelled its name.
“Sunday House,” we called it. We wrote that the “Sunday House” has the area’s best Sunday brunch. “Sundy” and “Sunday”: The bloody venue name and day of the week are just asking for us to misspell something! Still, in journalism circles, that’s what we call an #epicfail.
Today the Sundy House – and its spelling – are pretty much indoctrinated in me as I write. And after finally attending a Sunday brunch last week, there’s no way I’ll ever misspell the name again. Here are some highlights:
Brunch: The Sunday brunch here is glorious. The food is spread over a series of rooms, basically overflowing with fine and fresh cuisines. There’s a seafood station (crab legs, oysters and cooked shrimp), a dessert bar, omelette station, carving station, salad bar and make-your-own bloody mary station. Champagne, mimosas, bellinis and bloody marys are all unlimited. And confirming our suspicions, our server has said that yes, there tends to be a correlation between the unlimited drinks and things “getting out of hand” and “interesting” toward the end of every brunch hour.
Chefs: Chef Lindsay Autry is hands down amazing. I had the pleasure of meeting and dining at The Omphoy when she opened it alongside her mentor, Michelle Bernstein. I can still taste the phenomenal octopus dish she created that night, nearly three years ago. Chef Lindsey Autry came onboard the Sundy House last year to much fanfare. After watching her religiously on “Top Chef Texas,” where she nearly won the whole thing, it’s incredibly humbling to know a chef of this caliber has chosen to call South Florida and the Sundy House her home.
Since she’s arrived, Autry has eased back the restaurant’s roots to a more organic, locally cured, seasonal menu. She’s utilizing the property’s magnificent gardens and growing some fresh produce there. “We have so many beautiful fruits here on property, that it’s a shame if we don’t use them,” Autry says of the more than 5,000 plants on site.
Too, she’s scaled the dinner and lunch menus to a refined, yet approachable style. She takes chances when she can (“I’ve even introduced octopus on the menu,” she says) and notes modifying guests’ palates will take some time (“There’s a group of ladies who lunch all the time here,” Autry says. “And when we took the chicken salad sandwich off the menu, they were so upset. We just told them they could get a great chicken salad sandwich down the street, but here we’re serving other things.”)
Not to be outdone is Chef Sarah Sipe, the restaurant’s pastry chef, also from The Omphoy. Her dessert creations touch every part of the Sundy House restaurant, from brunch, lunch to dinner.
Not just for brunch: “We want the public to know that the Sundy House does more than brunches,” says Bruce Siegel, the GM of the property. Another Omphoy employee, Siegel has a point I had yet to think about. With Chefs Lindsay Autry and Sarah Sipe on board, it would be worrisome to confine them to supervising only vats of bacon and omelette stations (which I wouldn’t be against, by the way). While we may automatically think of the restaurant as place to dine on a relaxing early Sunday afternoon, it’s looking to become more of a destination for your weekday dinner or romantic spot for two.
Water: The water served at the Sundy House deserves a bullet point all by itself. It’s that notable. It’s a triple-filtered variety purified by HydroSecure. I was told the filtration system (located on property) is commissioned by the U.S. government and basically is better than the Brita filter I buy for my home.
Venue: Sundy House was established in 1902 for the city’s mayor, Mr. John Sundy. It’s registered with the National Register of Historic Places, and with all this rich history, it’s no surprise the property is a relaxing respite from the hustle and bustle of South Florida. Put your flashy clothing and jewelry away, and just enjoy what nature has in store for you. The dining areas include outdoor options among the gardens and gazebo, as well as open-air rooms.
The Sundy House is also an inn with 11 guest rooms and suites. They average two weddings a weekend during the peak season. There’s even a Cenote swimming pool, the only naturalized freshwater hotel swimming pool in the state (no chlorine touches this water).