I just knew that the Garrison was going to be good. As part of my resolution to try (even) more restaurants, I made a reservation for brunch at the Garrison the first Sunday in January. (I also made plans to visit or revisit The Dabney, Thip Khao, Beucherts, Room 11 and El Chucho within the same week stretch for various meals. I take my resolutions seriously.)
The Garrison has received buzz from foodies and has repeatedly appeared on the Eater DC brunch heat map. Thus, I knew it was my duty as a Bitch to make an appearance.
It was my favorite type of brunch: a double date with my best friend, Lindsey, and her new husband. Their visit from New York prompted my workaholic boyfriend to also join us for my favorite meal, a rarity despite (or due to) the fact we dine together quite often.
The Garrison is a beautiful restaurant, with minimalist farm-house vibes. The Chef, Rob Weland, developed a menu based on New American cuisine that’s sourced locally and accompanied by a great cocktail menu. I just knew this was my type of establishment and I was not mistaken.
As the resident Bitch, I ordered a mimosa. It was beautiful and flavorful—incredibly well executed. With a thin orange rind and a slight rosemary flavor, this mimosa was delightful.
There are plenty of delightful pastries on the menu—Danish doughnuts and scones, for instance—but I seized upon the Poppyseed Goujeres. A lover of French cuisine, I adore Goujeres. These bite-sized croissant puffs were fluffy, moist, and hot, and incredibly flavorful, tasting of butter, pastry and poppyseed. There’s hardly a better combination.
Among the raw appetizers, Lindsey (who is a chef) and I agreed on the fluke crudo and the Virginia Bison Tartare toast. The fluke crudo was served in a predictable fashion, with shredded leeks tossed in a lemon and horseradish sauce. The fluke was thin and incredibly fresh—and I loved the leek accompaniment.
The bison tartare was delectable and worth the trip alone. Heaps of seasoned raw meat was piled atop fresh, soft, pull-apart farmhouse bread. Between the two lay thinly sliced local turnips and atop the bison was peppercress, i.e. seasoned micro greens. This was a phenomenal dish.
The third appetizer was a winter radish salad, with big, thin round slices of radishes, mixed greens., julienned heirloom apples and laced tangerines. This was a delightful salad that I wish I could eat regularly.
My favorite part of brunch was actually the side of sausage, that I ordered on a whim en lieu of the apple wood smoked bacon. These sausage patties were house-made from duck and pork and incredibly flavorful, seasoned with thyme, which added quite a lot of flavor.
For our entrees, we decided to share the Eggs Hussard and the Steak and Eggs.
The steak and eggs was beautiful and clean: a bison hanger steak sliced for sharing, sunnyside farm eggs perfectly done, and thinly sliced potatoes akin to latkes.
The Eggs Hussarde was beautiful dish that featured potatoes rather than bread. (Gluten-free and paleo folks take note, huzzah!) The potatoes were hollowed out and filled with roasted tomatoes. Atop the tomatoes were delicately, softly poached eggs, drizzled with a light Hollandaise. Atop the whole thing, enormous pieces of bacon sat perched in the form of an “X”. Every single bite was delicious, and the bacon and Hollandaise were memorable.
By the end of the meal, the waitress must have caught on to the review happening—I’m not sure if it was the Bitch or the camera that gave it away. The chef sent out a dessert of sorts: gooseberries covered in white chocolate. These bite-size cuties were a sweet conclusion to a wonderful meal.
The common theme with The Garrison is that a well-trained chef begins with high-quality, local ingredients—I can always tell the difference. Then, he conceived unique American dishes with French flair. And, lastly, he executed well and presented beautifully. I can’t wait to go back—for dinner.
The Bitches say: A+. The Garrison is an unpretentious yet stunning restaurant, with beautifully presented and thoughtfully prepared cuisine. The service was delightful and the cuisine top notch. I’m so happy to have begun the year on a great foot!
524 8th St. S.E.
The Garrison serves brunch Sundays.