Saturday, October 18, 2008


Vinoteca is a wine bar and bistro on U Street. It is mostly known for having over 60 wines by the glass (many of which are only $5 at happy hour). They just recently started serving brunch and as an added promotion are featuring $1 sparkling wine drinks -- mimosas, kir royals, or bellinis. Two words can concisely describe my recommendation for Vinoteca: Go Now.

The $1 drinks are excellent, particularly the mimosas. They use Jacob's Creek brut, which is obviously on the low end but still respectable and is generally above the quality of sparkling wines that you'd find in most brunch beverages. And the orange juice tastes freshly squeezed. For $1 each, this is a steal. The kir royal was also competent.

The brunch menu is not extensive, but it consists of a variety of omelets, Benedicts, and other egg-based dishes; crêpes; and sandwiches. The best dishes are the omelet diton (tomatoes, spinach, and feta cheese), the chocolate crêpes, and the monstrous Monte Cristo. The omelets are light and fluffy and the diton is wrapped around delicate tomatoes, whole spinach leaves, and creamy feta cheese. The fillings, particularly the tomatoes, are not overcooked and soggy, but rather retain their crispness. It is also well-presented on a square plate. One note is that it does not come with any sides, all of which must be purchased separately.

Vinoteca has three crêpe varieties for brunch: chocolate, fruit, and duck confit. At our waitress's suggestion, we opted for the chocolate. The crêpes come in triplets arranged on a long rectangular plate. The crêpe itself is thin, almost transparent, and is wrapped in a triangular fashion around the fillings. It tastes more like it was derived from pancake batter than for example the crêpes at L'Enfant, which are more savory. The filling is a chocolate-hazelnut mix, similar to nutella. The gooeyness of the filling is a great complement to the lightness of the crêpe.

The Monte Cristo is undoubtedly Vinoteca's most ambitious offering. It is a tower of prosciutto di parma and gruyere cheese sandwiched between two thick slices of French toast and topped with a sunny side up egg and bacon (though you may order the eggs any style). It comes with a side of maple syrup. This is unsurprisingly very rich though quite excellent. The mixture of sweet flavors from the syrup and saltiness from the prosciutto is successful. You definitely won't be hungry after eating this dish.

Contact information and pictures of other dishes after the jump. Continue reading.

Here are pictures of the Eggs Florentine (poached eggs, spinach, Hollandaise sauce over English muffins), the Omelet Alsacienne (with bacon, onions, and cheese), and the Monte Cristo with scrambled eggs.

Brunch menu [Vinoteca]

1940 11th St. NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 332-9463

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yum. The citypaper has gift certificates for Vinoteca--pay $25 and get a $50 certificate (which can only be applied to bills more than $100).

Thanks for the review.