It’s almost comical how much time I spend in on H Street NE. So much so, that when my friend came to visit this weekend, I was embarrassed to admit that I had planned to make him traipse back and forth five times to a three block stretch; Brunch at Stable, drinks at Copy Cat Co., bar crawl from Vendetta, dinner at Sticky Rice, and Bullfrog Bagels for the hangover on Sunday. Is that too much for one weekend?
Certainly, I can’t help if it if all my favorite spots are in one place!
I ended up foregoing a few plans for my pride, but I knew that our brunch plans were set in stone. Stable is D.C’s first Swiss-American restaurant, and it occupies the old Ocopa space. While I was super bummed about Ocopa’s closing, I wanted to keep an open mind about its replacement.
Appropriately, Stable feels like a ski chalet with country barn vibes. The space offers warm decor, wood furniture, cowhide throw pillows, red checkered napkins, and a charming spiral staircase. There is ample space on what was once Ocopa’s back patio, and gives the restaurant an inviting, cozy vibe—perfect for an apres ski-style meal.
Upon our arrival, we were greeted by owner, Silvan Kraemer, who invited us in to try Stable’s signature raclette brunch. The brunch menu has an array of brunch cocktails, outside your usual mimosas and Bloodys, which we appreciate. We started with a cappuccino and Aperol Spritzes. The spritz was light and refreshing— a good complement to the heavy meal to come. And we will definitely be back to try the spiked hot chocolate in the wintertime.
After starting with a light, mixed green salad, we were ready to dive into the raclette experience.
Raclette is a semi-hard cow’s milk cheese that is commonly melted over simple ingredients. It’s a winter time staple in Switzerland, as you melt the cheese then scrape it off the wheel. Stable provides each table with a party grill, which melts individual slices, while providing a hot top for onions, potatoes, and other accoutrements. You can mix and match your ingredients, and add various spices to top it off.
The raclette brunch is recommended for 4-12 people. There were only three of us, but I’d say at least six people could have had our same servings. It’s an entertaining, interactive experience, much like an elevated fondue party (but with better cheese). You can also add a white wine pairing, should you feel so inclined.
Because we are professionals, we also had to order off the brunch menu. Executive Chef David Fritsche gets creative blending traditional brunch dishes with Swiss-inspired ingredients.
In accordance with the third rule of Bitches Who Brunch, I ordered the doughnuts promptly. Berliners are Swiss-style doughnut filled with strawberry jam —i.e. the OG jelly doughnuts. They were puffy, light pastries with a sweet filling and topped lightly powdered sugar. These were the rare doughnuts that don’t overdo the sugar factor and make a perfect starter.
If you have a sweet tooth, then the Zopf French toast is also for you. With rhubarb jam on the side and lots of cinnamon sugar, this toast was fluffy and delightful. The jam makes a nice substitute for syrup without weighing down the dish.
Needing something savory a la carte, we opted for the smoked salmon. With horseradish, chive creme fraiche, and lemon zest, this dish had a nice tang and cooled us down between bites of hot melted cheese.
Finally, we packed in the Berner Rosti, a potato, bacon, and onion hash topped with gruyere cheese and a fried egg. Wow was it dense. This is a substantial bowl of hash that, while tasty, was a bit of overkill after the raclette.
The entire meal was quite hearty, and we were soon ready for an afternoon nap. I am excited to return during the winter months for a warm, robust brunch over spiked hot cocoa.
The Bitches say: A. Stable’s raclette brunch is a fun communal and interactive brunch experience. Bring your whole crew for a hearty, après ski-style meal.
Stable serves brunch Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30 a.m.-2:30 a.m.