Shilling Canning Company is known as a “modern Mid-Atlantic” restaurant, and after dining there we kind of get what that means. The cuisine blends Northern and Southern flavors in a chic and urban atmosphere. So you can sit down to enjoy oysters and deviled eggs all in one meal!
Shilling has an incredible raw bar and a sharable sea-to-table style menu with a gorgeous space in the center of the Navy Yards shopping and dining scene. The contemporary space goes from cozy winter seafood hideaway to airy summer getaway with a killer patio. The brunch menu is special over the weekends, but their dinner items – and Mid-Atlantic delicacies – are available all day.
Without flinching, or really looking further than the first two menu items, we ordered the pastry board and half a dozen oysters. If the meal started well on this front, we would have every bit of confidence the rest would match up. The oysters were great: ice-cold, smooth, salty, clean, and so fresh they didn’t even need that pop of acidity (though quality vinegar is always a friend of ours).
The pastry board wasn’t overly glutenous and included a beautiful array of pastries with different flavor profiles. If nothing else, the board demonstrated some serious talent for Shilling’s pastry program. This included the best English muffin we’ve ever had, a homestyle, fluffy cinnamon roll, and a doughnut filled with apple butter. Safe to say the entire board was devoured and set the bar really high for the mains.
For the table, we had some deviled eggs – a legitimate test of cuisine, considering it’s pretty much on every D.C. brunch menu we encounter. The egg white divot was filled with a ham salad and topped with a classic deviled egg filling seasoned with shallots, paprika, and chives. A little bit of a heartier, less mayonnaise-forward deviled egg, the Shilling rendition should be a role model for the other aspiring eggs out there.
For mains, we ordered eggs Benedict, steak and eggs, and pork belly. The benny was served with an incredibly light, peppery hollandaise that was soaked up by that same, perfect English muffin. The perfectly cooked, fresh egg yolk added lickable qualities to the sauce, bread, and finely sliced (almost prosciutto-thin) ham. This was a top contender for the eggs Benedict we all know and love; no need to stray from tradition here.
The pork belly was nested beneath stringy fried potatoes and scrambled eggs with parsnip purée. The pork was glazed in maple and was the perfect amount of fatty and meaty to satisfy our bacon desires. The purée was creamy, but the parsnip added some needed bitterness to ground the dish of all its decadence. Since our visit, we’ve spent many cold winter mornings craving this dish.
The last main we enjoyed was steak and eggs. The grilled bavette was just that: cooked medium and with the right amount of chew, the steak was easy to eat and fun to dip in a combination of runny yolk and indulgent marsala sauce. The dish also came with cremini mushrooms and a tossed kale salad. Two vegetables and two proteins came together in one beautiful presentation.
For dessert, we opted for an apple cake and corn cake topped with peanut brittle. There was lots to be impressed with here. Both cakes were moist and not overly sweet and topped with the right amount of buttercream (so as not to overwhelm the palette). We don’t often order a dessert after brunch, but at Shilling, we did it twice. Whatever they’re throwing at you, (it will change seasonally), get your catcher’s mitt ready. It’s worth it to save room.
The Bitches say: five Champagne flutes
The skill, freshness, and atmosphere of Shilling Canning Company are worth the price tag.
Shilling Canning Company serves brunch on Sundays starting at 11:00 a.m.