I’d heard good things about Nido, a Mediterranean restaurant across town, past Ivy City. As I like to make an effort to provide our readers with diverse neighborhoods for brunch, I made a point to make my way across town to brunch. I was joined by my beautiful, enthusiastic friend Ashley. We decided to make a day of it, beginning with SoulCycle, and then hopping in a Lyft to explore Union Market. Union Market has added quite a few new shops in the past few months, including a Little Leaf pop-up, a South Block Co. shop (my favorite acai bowls), and a B. Doughnut pop-up. B. Doughnut’s savory, everything doughnuts and stuffed doughnuts have gained quick fame—and we were fortunate
Then, we were off to Nido, which is on a line of establishments on Rhode Island Ave N.E., including a local Zeke’s coffee. The cute, robins egg blue restaurant has an outdoor patio. Inside, the aesthetic is very Scandinavian: white walls, white oak tables, and simple, framed natural paintings on the wall. A beautiful, white oak bar is the centerpiece of the space, with a line of lovely rattan white stools for communal dining and drinking.
We were seated by the window, opting to both sit on the plush bench in the window. Unfortunately, Ashley got jabbed by a nail on the bench as she sat down. Youch! The waitress apologized and handily hammered it in.
We began with waters, black coffees (from Zeke’s down the way), and Spritz cocktails. Made with Campari rather than Aperol, the pink cocktails were served in massive wine glasses, light and refreshing. We were pleased that we didn’t need more than one.
We knew we wanted the ricotta, which was plated with honey, blueberries, slices of green apple, and orange segments. We did note that the menu said Marcona almonds, which we love, but the plate had regular—we would have preferred Marcona. It was served with a side of different slices of bread: white, wheat, and multigrain. The ricotta was satisfyingly fresh and delicious, pairing simply with honey and blueberries on white bread.
We also ordered the heirloom tomato toast, as seasonal, fresh tomatoes sounded too good to pass up on a hot summer day. The toast was beautifully plated: white, fluffy bread, slathered with goat cheese, slices of yellow and red heirloom tomatoes, and topped with a butter lettuce dressed lightly in oil. We both love butter lettuce, so we loved this dish. And the tomatoes were impeccable.
I ordered the pork hash, a very large dish served in a spicy, savory red sauce with quite a lot of potatoes. It was served with two eggs, sunny side up. I was pleased that the waitress inquired whether I wanted my eggs over easy—I prefer them over-medium and the kitchen was happy to oblige. I loved the flavor and the blend of textures from the shredded pork, chunks of potatoes, and eggs. It was a hearty dish—and I took half of it home to eat later that day.
My token vegetarian, Ashley ordered the pisto and poached eggs, the pisto being a blended mash of zucchini, egg plant, peppers and Manchego. She enjoyed the flavorful dish, but said it needed a little something extra.
We finished brunch with the seasonal pancakes, served with roasted apples, pecans, and a whipped, slightly sweet crème fraiche. The small, fluffy, and dense pancakes were satisfying and good, but certainly not the best pancakes we’ve ever had. We did really enjoy the combination of flavors, and also that the dish was not overly sweet.
All in all, we would be regulars at Nido if we lived in the neighborhood, as the place is cute and the food is better than good. However, it’s not elevated enough to be a dining destination for those across town. However, if super-fresh fare is your priority, than Nido is a good bet.
The Bitches say: B+. For a charming place with great food, warm service, and solid drinks. The prices are a bit higher than they should be, and a bottomless option would make the location a stronger draw.
Nido is closed.