“This is the late crowd,” I explained to the waiter as he looked at me wearily.I’d been sitting there solo for 15 minutes, at 12:30 on a Saturday.
It’s true. Daniela, Cara and I are always late. As for excuses, I’m overly optimistic and schedule things too closely together. Daniela’s Latina, so that’s her excuse. As for Cara, I really can’t say.
We all eventually made it there—and Daniela and Cara were quite hungover. “What’d you do last night?” I inquired. Turns out, they hadn’t even left the house, but instead drank copious amounts of champagne helping another friend, Gretchen, unpack.
They were suffering—the kind of suffering where it hurts to be in public. And, while I was the sober one, I managed to knock over two dishes in the first 10 minutes of their arrival. First, the French fries went flying. Then, the sparkling water. Turns out, I’m the one you can’t take anywhere.
We had so much to talk about that I was nonplussed and recovered quickly. Among the topics of conversation: awful guys (ex-boyfriends), wonderful guys (current boyfriends), international travels (Daniela’s forthcoming wedding on a beach in Brazil).
We took our sweet time ordering anything—but our waiter kept the coffee and waters flowing. Eventually, I ordered a mimosa, which was fine but nothin’ special. Cara also had fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice, which was lovely.
We all knew we wanted truffle fries, and I threw doughnuts on to the order for good measure and in accordance with the Bitch rules.
The truffle frites were delicious as always—greasy and topped with Parmesan, just as they should be.
The fresh baked glazed doughnuts were not at all innovative but plain ole’ good. Fluffy and moist on the inside, topped with a perfect thin layer of sugar glaze. These were some great, reliable, doughnuts.
For a bit of health, we ordered the baby kale salad, served with golden raisins, walnuts, and julienned green apples. The spinach and baby kale were drenched in dressing and the golden raisins made the whole thing too saccharine.
The chef also sent out the yogurt, which was a small portion but absolutely delightful. The house-made yogurt was a thick consistency, not unlike that of a brulee, filled with vanilla beans. It was delicious on its own, but served with small servings of Huckleberry jam and granola, also made in house. Surely, they sent this out because they knew it would be a hit, and it was.
Poste is all about the Benedicts. You see, there’s a “Benedict’s Bar,” where each Benny is served with pommes rosti, and a tableside shot of Benedictine, a liquor. It’s a cute concept. There are more than a dozen types of Bennys, including a fried chicken Benedict, a Pork Belly Benedict and an Eggs Florentine. Among the more unique Benedicts are the Moroccan Benedict, with Pita bread, roasted peppers and Merguez sausage. There’s also the Forest benedict, with roasted shiitake mushrooms and sautéed kale.
A classic New England girl, Cara seized upon the Eggs Chesapeake, with poached eggs, crab cakes, bacon, and an Old Bay Hollandaise. The crab cakes were fried in old oil—they were brown and too crispy on the outside. The Hollandaise was a little too disconcertingly yellow for our liking.
As I’m carnivorous and try to avoid gluten, I opted for the chorizo and shrimp Benny, served on a stone ground round grits cake. This Benny was delicious. The Hollandaise was spicy and filled with chorizo. The grits cake was awesome and the shrimp were enormous. I would definitely order this again.
“Should I order something different? For diversity’s sake?” said Daniela, an experienced brunching Bitch.
“No. You heard them! They’re all about the Benedicts here,” I replied.
“Fine!” she announced happily. Then, to the waiter: “I’ll take your most expensive Benedict!”
“I’ll bring you the Eggs Périgourdine,” he replied, referring to the Benedict with foie gras, served on brioche with the Perigourdine sauce. For those who don’t know—and I didn’t—a Perigourdine sauce is made with butter, truffle, shallots, goose fat and beef stock. It was topped with shavings of truffle, which made me incredibly envious.
Her Benedict was money. That said, none of us touched the gorgeous bricks of potato, we just had too much to eat!
Sadly, the Bennys were inconsistent: Daniela and my Bennys were fabulous, whole a traditional Chesapeake was lackluster.
Despite eating quite a lot, we also ordered dessert. Sadly, the desserts looked better than they tasted. Too sweet—too much focus on presentation and not enough on quality.
The Bitches say: B+. Some dishes at Poste were top notch while others were lackluster. It’s a nice spot for brunch, but we’d appreciate more consistency in the dishes and a bottomless deal to make the brunch more popular. The service, truffle frites and truffle Benedict make it worth a visit.
The Hotel Monaco
555 8th St. N.W.
Poste serves brunch Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.