I was absolutely elated when I heard my new favorite restaurant, Primrose, was launching brunch. To be clear, it’s known as “weekend lunch,” but bubbly confection and eggs are on the menu, so let’s call a spade a spade. Primrose is a charming little French restaurant and wine bar in Brookland that’s decorated in the most fabulous of fashions. It’s hard to beat a French restaurant with an impressive wine list and playful, feminine decor, so admittedly I was a bit biased going in. (Read my preview of Primrose, here.)
We arrived to Primrose on one of the first warm days of summer, and the patio umbrellas were out in full swing. We chose to sit inside in the air conditioning, where light poured into the bright airy space through its floor-to-ceiling windows. Our waiter was exceedingly handsome —and there were many familiar faces among the wait staff.
The plates are stunning—and the tableware accents are charming. There’s a little duck vase with tulips, and ceramic cow vase for milk with the coffee.
The available brunch beverages are a Bloody Mary, mimosa, Bellini, French 75, and a couple of unique, craft cocktails. My boyfriend had the Bloody Mary, which was very good—a classic Bloody that was not too spicy, but packed a kick. Meanwhile, I went for a light, gin cocktail—the Plum Fiére, served in a high ball glass and made with Citadelle gin, St. Germain, Lillet Blanc, grapefruit soda, and house-made rhubarb bitters.
The brunch menu—which remember is described as weekend lunch—is also small, with ten dishes from which you can select. We opted to share and sample everything, per usual. We began with the yogurt parfait, which was surprisingly satisfying, with a crispy, crunchy granola with honey, berries, and a thick, Greek yogurt.
The menu may be short, but it is also comprehensive, with the beets being a second healthy option. This beautifully plated stack of roasted beets comes topped with crumbled hazelnuts, and served with a Meyer lemon dressing. It has an incredibly unique flavor profile, which tasted almost like mustard, leaving us with an interesting aftertaste. It wasn’t our favorite dish of the meal, but I love beets in nearly any fashion, particularly with a crunchy nut topping.
I was most excited for the Eggs Cocotte, which ended up being our least favorite dish on the menu. The eggs were baked with asparagus and mushrooms, and served with truffle butter in a cute little cast iron skillet. It was a bit too creamy—the taste was more cream and less truffle, we would have loved a bit more of that fabulous truffle flavor.
The trout rillette was a bagel & lox style situation, but with smoked trout. It was a classic toasted plain bagel, with all of the accouterments—cream cheese, capers, sliced cucumbers, and cornichons. We really loved this dish—and found it to be an easy one to share.
Delicious things started to happen toward the end of our meal with the Croque Monsieur and the French toast, which are the two must-order dishes on the menu. “This is the best sandwich I’ve ever eaten,” pronounced my boyfriend between bites. It was, indeed, divine with ham and Bechamel cheese layered between the crispy, crunchy French bread that crumbles with each bite. The beautiful, sunnyside-up egg was done just right.
The French toast was that eggy, moist, spongy type of French toast—the kind that just feels decadent, and was made with tender loving care. It was topped with marinated strawberries, fresh basil, and a dollop of cream. This was devoured in mere moments.
The Bitches say: A-. A pristine ambiance, expansive patio, playful service, but above all delightful cocktails and decadent and delicious fare. We went very early on—so we’d suggest they fix up the Eggs Cocotte and the beet dishes. The Croque Monsieur and the French toast are an absolute must-order.
Primrose serves brunch Saturday and Sunday 11-2p.m. 202-248-4558