Friday, January 2, 2009


"Domku," which means "little house" in Polish is an Eastern European and Scandinavian gem in Petworth. The brunch menu features customizable Norwegian pancakes, Swedish waffles, and smoked fish. The place looks more like a neighborhood lounge than a restaurant, as most patrons sit on couches with coffee tables. The decor also includes an exposed brick wall, track lighting, and purchasable art by children.

The Domku bloody mary is one of the more interesting, and definitely spicy, interpretations of the classic drink. Our waiter informed us that they infuse vodka with certain habanero peppers that are so hot you need gloves to touch them. The vodka is added to a thick tomato mixture and served separated. I do prefer thick and spicy bloody marys, but this one went overboard. Many of my brunch companions thought it was virtually undrinkable. I wouldn't go that far, but I won't recommend ordering it unless you are ready for serious and overpowering heat.

The food was a lot better and a welcome addition to the D.C. brunch scene. Since it's a Scandinavian restaurant they specialize in fish, pancakes, and waffles. The salmon eggs benedict with house-smoked gravlax is well-presented on top of crispy sourdough rounds and served with a side salad. This was a good dish: the gravlax were mild, the eggs were nicely poached and presented on top of the rounds. The salad had an interesting dressing that was not too heavy.

The Norwegian pancakes are thin and crepe-like and can be filled with a variety of meats, cheeses, and vegetables that are cooked into the pancake. This is a specialty of the house and it has a very nice light texture and satisfying intricacies.

The Swedish waffle was another highlight, prepared in an interesting heart-shaped waffle iron and topped with whipped cream and lingonberry preserves. The lightness of the waffle was an excellent complement with the heartiness of the preserves.

We also tried the "Salmon Pyt i Panna" which is essentially a hash of potatoes, carrots, and onions with salmon and topped with a poached egg and mustard mayo. The softness of the salmon well-complemented the crispiness of the potatoes. But I felt the sauce was prosaic and it didn't rise to the level of the other dishes.

It is certainly worth making the trip up to Petworth to visit Domku. It's unique food and comfortable setting gives it high marks. Contact information after the jump.

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Menu [Domku]

821 Upshur St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20011
(202) 722-7454

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