I’m sure you’ve seen that meme: “Always late, but worth the wait.” I have, because no less than five of my loving friends slid it right into my DMs. Is it twisted that I found it a little bit flattering? Coming from the person that believes being early is a waste of time (I’m working on it), I had mixed emotions about it, to say the least.
As I frantically texted my friend Kendra, “running late, be there in 15!” before brunch the other day, that meme popped into my head. By Saturday at noon my husband and I felt like we had lived a thousand lives that weekend already. We were more than ready to plop down at a neighborhood restaurant for brunch, relishing in the rare fact that we had nowhere to be for the rest of the day.
Chloe is the latest newcomer to the booming food scene erupting in our fair neighborhood of Navy Yard. Chef Haidar’s reputation from his success at Estadio makes his latest labor of love highly anticipated.
It’s hard to categorize the menu at Chloe, as it’s a culmination of the chef’s personal culinary journey, including extensive travel around Western Europe and Southeast Asia, all grounded in and linked by his Lebanese roots along with the seasonal bounties of the Mid-Atlantic. No idea where the churros fit in, but we’re into it.
An iced coffee addict, Gavin ordered the coffee cocktail with Irish whiskey and molasses. It was strong, so consider yourself warned. Kendra kept it dry this particular morning with the Kumquat Spritz, a mocktail made with kumquat, grapefruit, and sparkling water (I made a mental note that this would be a good brunch for my pregnant friends). I kept it lively with a deliciously bubbly mimosa.
No matter your mood, try not to start your brunch without the sheep’s milk ricotta which is scooped out to make room for a pool of raw honey, rosemary, and olive oil. Spread this goodness over the housemade grilled breads and you will thank us with every creamy and crispy bite you take. Skip the wild flower butter honey toast.
The crispy churros are another must order. They arrived in a gorgeous geometric presentation, covered in a dusting of powdered sugar. We ate with our eyes and then dunked our way through the chocolate ganache with the lightest, crispiest churros I’ve had all year.
Now the crispy fingerling potatoes may sound like a dull dish, but trust us; they are perfectly smashed, crispy morsels that have been massaged with Old Bay seasoning and heaped atop a slathering of boardwalk mayo. They are perfect and you’ll find yourself supplementing every other brunch bite with these little nuggets.
We absolutely loved the Tortilla Espanola and are grateful for our waiter’s recommendation. It was a unique dish, one that I haven’t experienced in a while. Imagine a flat frittata that looks like an omelet, but contains thin layers of potato in between the eggs. Topped with a garlic aioli and sweet and hot peppers, this is a perfect dish to share if you are brunching with fellow egg lovers.
We were unimpressed with the Ivy City smoked salmon tartine, which was disappointing because it looked delicious and we do love Ivy City Smokehouse products. There was just something off about this particular dish. The bread was a little too tough and the egg, salmon, and avocado flavors just weren’t jiving.
Around 2 p.m, we did feel as if we were overstaying our welcome as the dining room seemed to have clear out. But, I guess that’s the price to pay when you are fashionably late (but worth the wait).
The Bitches say: B+. This Navy Yard brunch is set to the backdrop of a modern space with an eclectic menu of upscale fare. Definitely not a rowdy brunch, but a great place to catch up with a friend, date, or family visiting town.