Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Set in a renovated rowhouse in the U Street corridor, Tabaq, which opened in 2005 to some fanfare is another one of the growing list of small dish Mediterranean restaurants. Brunch is served on their rather spectacular glass enclosed rooftop, which has panoramic views of the city.
The brunch menu is fairly small and offers a handful of sandwiches, omelettes, breakfast plates, and a variety of Benedicts. The menu is also notable for having $3.00 bloody marys and mimosas, which makes me wonder at the popularity of Crēme's $15 "Bottomless" bloody mary or mimosa special next door. Tabaq's bloody marys are not fantastic -- they're a little thin -- but at $3.00 are quite a deal.
As for the food, it is hit or miss. The "Tabaq Breakfast," which consists of two eggs, applewood smoked bacon, lamb sausage, feta bell pepper salad, baked tomatoes, and sauteed potatoes, and toast sounds a lot better on the menu than it is. The plating is fairly haphazard with each item placed on a round plate in no particular order. The bacon was smokey and good and the baked tomatoes were fresh; the other items were fairly ordinary. The vegetable sandwich consists of eggplant, zucchini, red and yellow pepper, tomatos, and feta cheese. The bread was the best part; otherwise it was somewhat bland. It comes with a choice of either fries or field greens; the large amount of field greens affords the dish a colorful plating. The waffles were also fairly standard Belgian variety and on the firm side. Since we are in the South, they can also come with fried chicken on top. As for the Benedicts, we tried the vegetarian which substituted ham for braised seasonal vegetables. This was a great dish; the eggs were properly runny and the vegetables had a nice kick to them.
The service and the decor at Tabaq are excellent, which makes for an enjoyable brunch even though the food is not superlative.
Brunch Menu [Tabaq].
Tabaq Bistro: Exclusive Sneak Peak [Metrocurean].
Tabaq Bistro [Gridskipper].
1336 U St. NW
View Larger Map