Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Eat, Drink and be Merry

August is a particularly hard month at work, the one time of year where I don't observe the sanctity of the lunch break and eat at my desk (thankfully, Pret makes this better than it ought to be). But half the fun of going to a restaurant is the company, and in these impossible weeks I always make it a point to meet the near and dear for brunch.

Firefly, just south of Dupont Circle has become one of my favorites. It's signature indoor tree (complete with lanterns) isn't as striking by the light of day, but the dinning room (a fine study in maximization of space) is just as welcoming: stone, brass, and wood. You'll feel like you're visiting someone's impeccably designed cabin. The service is some of the most attentive I've had in DC - our French press coffee was promptly refilled, and our server pointed us in the direction of the $1 mimosas, answered questions about the menu items and, most importantly, weighed in on the important issue of protein v. carbs that all brunch patrons must face.

Chef Daniel Bortnick's menu is focused but abundant in choices (divided into cold things and hot things), with local farmers and purveyors listed at the bottom of the page. I tend to order brunch items with a marked tendency towards breakfast foods (though I've had the seared yellowfin tuna BLT for lunch). I chose the Snake Eyes, 2 soft-cooked eggs baked in a bread basket (growing up, my mom did a fried version of this and called it Eggs in a Frame). The baking makes all the difference - the bread basket had a distinctively different texture from the eggs without being too crispy. The eggs were set upon potatoes, with a side of country sausage and red-eye gravy (normally made with the dripping of pan-fried country ham but in this case it was probably sausage, mixed with black coffee), which added to the Southern flair of the dish. This is a layered and sophisticated egg dish that plays on both textures and temperatures, and a great alternative to staples such as eggs benedict.

A. went for Pop Pop's French toast - thick slices of challah bread dipped in orange and vanilla. The citrus does a great job of cutting the eggy smell present in most French toast, and the apple-raisin compote brings traditional flavors in a different form. The maple syrup was just warm enough.

Firefly had plenty of patrons that morning but our server made sure we took our time and enjoyed the best part of brunch - lingering and catching up over your remaining coffee (and a second round of mimosas).

Firefly @ Hotel Madera view menu
1310 New Hampshire Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 861-1310
Firefly - DC on Urbanspoon

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