A note from the Bitches: this restaurant is now closed. It’s been rebranded to Pinea.
We were excited when the folks at J&G Steakhouse invited us to check out their newly relaunched Sunday brunch. (Better yet, this brunch was on the house, thanks J&G!) The last time the Bitches reviewed J&G’s brunch, it was relatively new, and while we acknowledged that the food was, unarguably, excellent and well-prepared, we lamented the lack of brunch options and overall pizazz.
The old menu was more like lunch with a couple of brunch options—pancakes, eggs Benedict, steak and eggs—thrown in. Well, I’m happy to report the new menu is loaded with both choice and creativity. Even better, despite having ‘steakhouse’ in the name, J&G has a great selection of vegetarian and pescetarian options.
The restaurant livened up the formal, sterile ambiance of marble flooring, high ceilings, and white columns with a live jazz trio, whose sounds convert the atmosphere to lively and fun. You could spend hours there chit-chatting with your girlfriends over blood orange mimosas and lychee Bellinis while fabulous jazz flows through the room.
Brunch began with a basket of fresh, house-made scones—blueberry and jalapeño—that were the perfect consistency, not too dry, not too moist, but just right. There’s a certain balance you have to strike with the perfect scone, and the chef hit the nail on the head. Similarly, I had a Café mocha, which was also whipped to perfection—not too sweet, not too bitter, but just the right blend of espresso, milk, and chocolate. If I were Goldilocks, J&G would be my perfect fit.
A beautiful plate of fresh fruit was placed on our table. Now, Lindsey and I both love a good fruit plate. So, in our varied brunch experience, we know how hard it is to order a fruit plate that’s (a) fresh, (b) actually has flavor, and (c) isn’t just grapes and honeydew melon. We hate honeydew—it is surprisingly high in calories for a fruit and has minimal nutritional value when compared to say, citrus or berries. Plus, it tastes funny.
It was nearly impossible for us to decide on our brunch entrees—despite the fact that neither of us eat red meat and this was a steakhouse. Do we order the crab eggs Benedict or the crab, tomato, and basil egg scramble? Egg lovers have options like an herb egg white omelet, an omelet with Gruyere cheese, or a frittata. Carbohydrate queens can pick from several dishes—buckwheat crepes, buttermilk pancakes, or French toast. For meat lovers, there are plenty of options, including corned beef hash and steak and eggs.
I opted for a new creation by the chef—an egg in the basket topped with fresh smoked salmon, Hollandaise sauce, and fresh herbs to sprinkle on top. You cut into the soft, fluffy bread, topped with Hollandaise and salmon and—surprise!—there’s a perfectly poached egg inside. The dish was inventive yet simple—and was absolutely delectable and satisfying.
Lindsey opted for the wild mushroom and potato frittata. She says: “It was a delightfully light surprise for the palette of a non-steakhouse regular. The chef’s innovative and unusual pairing of dill with shitake, cremini, and oyster mushrooms provided a new flavor combination that won over my taste buds. The earthy mushrooms, lemony dill, and simply satisfying roasted potatoes were orchestrated together in a fluffy and light pillow of egg whites cooked to perfection. Accompanied by a fresh side salad with crisp field greens and a garlic and herb dressing with the perfect amount of acidity, this balanced and healthy brunch dish absolutely won me over.”
We finished with dessert—ordering the warm chocolate cake with vanilla bean ice cream. While the options on the dessert menu were both decadent and inspired—a salted caramel ice cream sundae, a green apple crisp with cinnamon ice cream, or a spiced pumpkin cake with praline cream—we opted for chocolate because, well, we never turn down chocolate. When the cake arrived at our table, it was anything but simple—it looked too lovely to eat. And, of course, it was a molten chocolate cake, oozing with warm, rich Belgian chocolate after you take the first bite. A perfect ending to a charming morning.
The Bitches say: A, lovely ambiance, great jazz, impeccable service, a well-planned menu, and satisfying cuisine.
515 15th St. N.W.