Every girl needs a variety of Bitches in her life, each with their own unique characteristics, talents, and wardrobes to rely on. If you are really lucky, you have a Jack of All Trades, Up for Anything Bitch in your rolodex. In my posse, that’s Jane.
Jane has more random talents than Ryan Seacrest, always shows up with a fantastic story and a bottle of champagne, and can pull off the most obscure outfits. Seriously, I have seen her wear tartan in ways that would put Kurt Cobain to shame. Hate her yet? She also happens to be an insanely creative Operations Manager at SwatchRoom.
On a brisk December morning Jane joined me for brunch at Copperwood Tavern, the latest design effort by O’Neill Studios (part of the SwatchRoom group) and part of the Wooden Nickel Bar Company restaurant group, which owns Mighty Pint and Irish Whiskey Public House.
Copperwood is located on a charming section of Shirlington, but walking in feels like entering a ski lodge in Park City. One wall was completely composed of tree stumps; a gigantic canoe hung off the other. Jane hadn’t arrived yet (lateness is another quirk only she can get away with), but I was promptly seated with a bucket of spiced popcorn placed in front of me. Nice touch.
Once my date was seated, we pounced on the drink menu. Jane and I are both Bloody Mary lovers, and this menu offered four enticing varieties. I let Jane order the seafood Bloody, and I went for the Bellini. The Bloody was served with a garnish of an oyster and jumbo shrimp.
At first, Jane lamented that it tasted like an average Bloody, but after dropping the garnish into her glass it took on the flavor she was expecting. Being a hard liquor devotee, I am not typically a Bellini gal, but my drink was refreshing and light.
We settled on the French toast sticks as an appetizer. Wow. The only noise that came out after this dish was delivered was “mmmmm” from both of us, causing the manager to stop in his tracks and inquire if we were alright.
Onlookers might have assumed we were reenacting the famous diner scene from When Harry Met Sally— it was just that good. The outside was crunchy, while the inside was still warm and eggy from the stove. My pledge to have “just one” quickly went to the wayside.
Jane went with the Cajun Benedict for her entree. The dish looked like a normal Benny, but the spicy ham and zesty Hollandaise gave it an unexpected but welcome kick. While the English muffin didn’t add much, the grilled tomato was a nice surprise.
I decided to seal my fate of an afternoon nap via the biscuits and gravy. Maybe it was the fact that I hadn’t had this many carbs in a decade, but the biscuit itself was one of the best I’ve had. It provided the trifecta of desirable biscuit attributes: crumbly, buttery, and salty.
The gravy itself was fine—it’s difficult to totally mess up sausage gravy. Both entrees came with a side of peppery breakfast potatoes that proved to be perfect for mopping up our sauces. We had a yummy and generous side of fruit to add some semblance of nutrition to our meal (dream big).
Although the dessert menu presented many tempting items, we were too stuffed and opted to sample more from the craft cocktail list. I had the Bourbon Thief, a take on a Whiskey Sour that we both proclaimed the best drink on the menu. Copperwood sets out complimentary tins of fresh, hot popcorn for when you’re drinking heavily and need additional sustenance in your brunch.
Jane went out of her alcohol comfort zone and had the Bacon Rebellion. She described it as a delicious “nighttime man drink.” Make of that what you will.
The Copperwood staff was consistently attentive and friendly throughout our meal, offering their suggestions and checking in. The food—all locally sourced—was incredible, and the servings were generous at affordable prices.
The Bitches say: A for a lovely meal in an awesome setting.
4021 Campbell Ave.
Arlington, VA 22206
Copperwood Tavern serves brunch Saturdays and Sundays.