An unseasonably warm Saturday in January makes for a rough Sunday morning. Luckily, I was meeting up with three friends for brunch who were all involved in the shenanigans that took place the day prior—so this was a judgement-free brunch zone. We were ready to lick our wounds and to celebrate our January birthday babies with libations and brunch.
After a wobbly commute downstairs to The Salt Line, a restaurant attached to my apartment complex, we plopped down at a gorgeous booth and composed ourselves while reviewing the menu.
The New England style restaurant boasts tan shingles and a gorgeous wrap-around outdoor bar. I’m a regular at happy hour before Nats Games, so naturally I was elated when the restaurant finally began serving brunch after the Nats season came to a close this winter. As expected, the seafood-centric menu offers unique versions of Shakshuka, French toast, and brunch cocktails—providing for an epic brunch odyssey from the minute we set sail.
The cocktails were simply outstanding. You can’t go wrong with any option. But, based on your mood and your Saturday night, you can select a cocktail best suited for you. For example, I needed coffee, but also to be social, so I went with a smooth spiked cold brew cocktail called the Allen’s Corretto. If you found yourself in need of a refreshing, citrus cocktail you may opt for the Saltier Dog, with grapefruit, Tito’s vodka, and a cheeky pirate flag floating in a lemon peel. And if you straight up just want to get after it, you can start your morning with an oyster shooter. Our eclectic group opted for all of the above.
Our first round of drinks were epic and delicious—it’s rare you find both. The Perfect Storm Bloody Mary was a feast for the eyes and beckoned an Instagram the minute it was placed atop our table. Topped with an Alaskan king crab leg, an oyster, a slice of housemade sausage, a shrimp, and pickles, this Bloody was fully loaded. We passed it around the table for the better part of brunch. The flavors struck the right balance of spice and salt, and we appreciated that it came with four straws.
We immediately and unanimously decided to break our Whole30-ish regimens once the Parker House rolls arrived on the table. The glistening buns were far too tantalizing to pass up. I heard one friend secretly whisper, “oh bread, I’ve missed you.” #January
I recognized the faro salad from the dinner menu and insisted the group try it. The three pieces of arugula that were mixed into the grain dish were the only greens we’d see on this day, unless you count the celery stalks in the Bloody. We’ll count those for the record. I love a good shaved riccota salata, which is the cheese that came atop the crunchy grain salad. The texture of the smooth butternut squash bed topped with the heaping farro, olives, and dried cranberries was a refreshing starting to the meal. It was the perfect portion to split among the four of us.
Unable to decide on one dish each, we all selected our top pick and decided to consume them family style. Unsurprisingly, the lobster omelet was a fan favorite, with healthy sized chunks of fresh lobster wedged in between and on top of a perfectly cooked omelet. The side of potato coins was meager, but so flavorful that you didn’t need more than a few bites.
My personal favorite was the Duck Confit, although it doesn’t read as a French toast dish at first blush. I’ll admit, it didn’t strike my fancy on the menu, but after the waiter flagged it for us, I doubt I’ll be able to go back without ordering it again. The combination of the tender, tasty meat with the thick single piece of French toast doused in whipped mascarpone surrounded by an orange cranberry sauce was too decadent for words.
Perhaps the most modest dish on the brunch menu was the Corned Beef Hash. It was simple, but well executed and light in comparison to the other decadent dishes. The perfectly cooked sunny side up eggs were served on a bed of bite-sized potato chunks with tender corn beef and peppers mixed in. It was the kind of dish that warmed you up, but didn’t fill you up. I found myself sneaking bites as a palate cleanser. Go figure.
Second to the Duck Confit French toast was the Eggs in Purgatory, which offered another unique combination of flavors. I consider myself to be a creative cook, but the thought of combining clams, clamata sauce, and baked eggs into one dish has never crossed my mind. Huge blind spot, apparently. The creamy polenta served as a savory blanket for the salty middleneck clams and eggs in this soul-warming dish. It wasn’t a crowd favorite, but I enjoyed the creative risk and thought the flavors were surprisingly complimentary.
The Bitches say: A+. Sweeping river views, excellent service, and well-executed flavors abound in the unique dishes at The Salt Line. We were pleasantly surprised to see the brunch menu extended beyond seafood; the Duck Confit French toast is not to be missed.
The Salt Line serves brunch on weekends from 1 1a.m. to 3 p.m. (brunch cocktails served from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.) (202) 506-2368