A wise woman (Read: my idol Carrie Bradshaw) once said, “Maybe our girlfriends are our soul mates and guys are just people to have fun with.”
This could not be more true. As we navigate the bizarre emotional, professional and physical highs-and-lows of our 20s, there is nothing more important than good friends to listen to your stories, to make you laugh, to understand completely, and to keep you grounded.
Though my Bitch is my best friend, and we both have a few other amazing besties, we both love to pick up girls—as friends. It’s nearly as difficult to find good girlfriends as it is a respectable man to date—so you have to friend-date a good bit.
Such was not the case with Daniela, my 2012 girl crush, as we became insta-friends. Daniela is half Irish and half Brazilian, which makes her an amazing drinking and dancing partner—qualities nearly as important to me as trust, loyalty and intelligence. Her signature ensemble is the DK jumpsuit, which exemplifies her unique-and-charming sense of style. She is somehow wild and fun yet thoughtful and responsible—the kind of girl who is sure to send a thank you note when she crashes at your house after a wild rooftop party.
I could continue on my girl crush for hours. But, let’s talk about brunch. I met Daniela last Sunday on the patio of Lavagna, a charming Italian restaurant on Barracks Row on Capitol Hill. Lavagna invited us in—so this brunch was on the house—and I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect.
Well, regardless of what I expected, what resulted may have been the perfect brunch. What are the ingredients for a perfect brunch, you ask?
Ingredients: One rockin gal pal. One perfect patio on an idyllic fall day—temperatures in the 60s with low sunshine and a light breeze. A friendly server who offered clear advice but did not linger. Frothy, crisp and light Blood Orange mimosas. (FYI, it’s $10 for bottomless). Good coffee in a glass that is always full. Then, cue plates and plates of amazing, fresh, local, farm-to-table food. Conclude with rich and heavenly dessert. Voila, brunch perfection!
Because that’s my kind of brunch—quality, not quantity. Everything from Lavagna is locally sourced—except for the tomatoes, because those come from Italy. The pasta, which we were too full to sample, is house-made. Everything is fresh and perfectly prepared.
At your table, you are served complimentary focaccia toast with a ricotta honey fluffy spread and berry preserves. This was delicious, and as Daniela was waiting on me (per usual) we both devoured it before I could take a photo. In an ideal world, I would have a plate of this bread with ricotta honey spread—and an enormous coffee—served to me each morning (by a handsome James Franco look-alike, please. Screw it, I’ll take Franco).
First up, the bruschetta—which was crostini with ricotta, caramelized shallots, and tomatoes. I wasn’t sure if I could eat toast covered in solely shallots, but I did, and I loved it.
Next, the fruit plate, which was perfect. You know how we’re picky Bitches with fruit—but this plate was perfection. Fresh strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, pineapple, and grapes with a cottage cheese dip in the center. The fruit was gorgeous, fresh, and flavorful.
The veggie frittata is made with Parmesan cheese and seasonable veggies, in this instance red peppers, onions, broccoli, mushrooms, and kale. It was served with a side of fresh, lightly flavored potatoes. This frittata struck the perfect balance between healthy and decadent. It was crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and perfectly warm.
Then, the mascarpone pancakes, think fluffy pancakes covered in a honey Nutella mascarpone. These were heaven. There are simply no words to describe how good these pancakes were. They will definitely be awarded the Best Pancakes in our 2012 Bitches Brunch Bites. Boom.
Lastly, the dessert. A deconstructed tiramisu with layers of espresso ladyfingers and fluffy cream in a bowl very reminiscent of a shot glass. Lavagna—you should make tiramisu shots, just sayin’.
The no-flour chocolate cake arrived slightly melted but topped with a toasted marshmallow whipped cream. This cake tasted like chocolate fudge and was decadent—but that did not stop Daniela and I from devouring it after a very large meal. It was just that good, we could not stop eating it.
We thanked the folks profusely and proceeded to waddle down 8th Street to the metro, which arrived in perfect time for us to board (that never happens on a weekend in D.C.) A perfect morning, indeed.
The Bitches say: A+. Cori Sue’s recipe for a perfect brunch: good friends, good coffee, bottomless blood orange mimosas, a perfect patio, delicious farm-to-table cuisine, and heavenly desserts.
539 8th Street S.E.
Lavagna serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.