UPDATE: This restaurant has closed since this review.
With all the work and Bitch stress, it’s important to take time to decompress and convene with quality friends. On this particular Saturday, Christina and I went to brunch on U Street, then strolled over to E Street Cinema to take in a wonderful Dutch film as part of the D.C. International Film Festival.
The brunch location? New Town, which is new in town.
New Town has taken over the Tabaq space, and is still very much a nightclub with a restaurant. The restaurant was effectively empty when we arrived, save for one table at the far end of the narrow space. Christina and I were seated at a table for four against the bay windows of the U Street row house, right alongside the hostess stand.
New Town is decorated with modern décor, with wooden floors and a wooden bar and dark yellow chairs. The space was a bit dark and the music playing was 1990s slow jams and 2000s R&B. The ambiance is a bit more apropos for evening time, but was just fine for brunch. It’s certainly a good go-to if you live in the U Street area.
Both our hostess and waitress were absolutely beautiful young ladies, and just as sweet as they were pretty. They were both super attentive and amendable, without infringing upon our catch-up conversation.
The brunch menu offers both brunch staples and unique dishes. There is a vegetarian omelet, a shrimp ‘n’ grits with Andouille sausage, and a chorizo, Gouda, pepper, asparagus and Vidalia onion omelet. By far the most unique dish on the menu was the lavender honey and sage fried hen, served over a sweet potato pancake.
In addition to brunch options, there’s a fair selection of soups, salads and sandwiches served with fries, in case you have a luncher in your brunching presence.
Mimosas are offered for $8 a pop or $20 a pitcher, which certainly seems to be the better deal. There are other unique, enticing cocktail options from which to select: a blood orange mimosa, a Thai Mojito, white peach sangria, a wild berry margarita, or a Harissa spiked Bloody Maria.
We both ordered coffees, and our waitress kept our white ceramic mugs filled—Christina and I are both coffee addicts. We are both trying to temper our caffeine addiction, but not until after brunch. I also ordered an orange juice, which was touted as “fresh-squeezed” on the menu but was anything but—it was certainly out of a jug, and from concentrate.
Christina went for the pork belly Eggs Benedict. The Eggs Benny was an English muffin, topped with barbequed Berkshire pork belly, poached eggs, and Hollandaise. It was served with home fries.
Lately, I’ve been ordering steak and eggs every time I go to brunch, and today was no different. The grilled New York strip steak is served with two eggs any style, home fries, and Bernaise. I chose my steak medium-rare, my eggs fried over-hard, and politely insisted upon French fries instead of home fries. Our pretty, polite waitress was more than happy to oblige and the chef prepared everything exactly to my liking.
The dish was plated carefully, with the fried eggs served on a separate plate, and charming little ceramic ladles of ketchup on a separate plate. Though, the ketchup isn’t quite house-made, it also doesn’t claim to be. The steak was pretty good, nothing special. The French fries were pretty darn good. Hot, fried, crisp and sprinkled with cilantro. The Bearnaise sauce was nicely done, too.
For dessert, I mandated we split the coconut Challah French toast, served with a Butterscotch whiskey sauce, and coconut whipped cream. This was a highlight of the meal, a well-done, delicious take on French toast that is worth ordering if you brunch at New Town.
The toast was moist and creamy on the inside, clearly soaked overnight, and crispy on the outside. The butterscotch whiskey sauce was lightly drizzled, so much so that I thought I needed syrup, which the waitress quickly brought. I was wrong, the whiskey sauce was sweet and packed a lot of flavor, so no additional syrup was required.
The Bitches say: B-. New Town provides pretty good food in a decent ambiance, with great service and a killer French toast. It’s a good place to go for pitchers of mimosas if the other spots on U Street are packed.
1336 U St. N.W.
New Town serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.