[Ed. note: A shorter version of this review appears on Wonkabout, where I am doing a weekly brunch post.]
Residing in a former nineteenth century post office, Poste, an aptly named New American brasserie serves up inventive, though ultimately middling brunch. The pleasant decor features high ceilings, skylights, and simple but elegant tables, contrasted against the exposed original outside walls of the old post office. Like some other upscale brunches in this city such as Brunch DC favorite Tabard Inn, Poste features truly excellent homemade doughnuts. One order features doughnuts filled with the assorted flavors of chocolate ganache, lemon curd, and fig compote, alongside a warm chocolate sauce. The crispy outside is dusted in sugar and gives way to a soft and light interior with decadent flavors. Unlike the brunch at Tabard Inn, however, the rest of the dishes at Poste's do not stack up to its doughnuts.
Poste's take on Eggs Benedict, Eggs Hussarde -- poached eggs in hollowed potatoes with bacon served with merchand de vin sauce (a rich butter/wine sauce) below the eggs and hollandaise above. This was an interesting combination (though not exactly unique, even Emeril makes it). The eggs were unfortunately inconsistently prepared -- some were overcooked, despite what should have been an unnecessary request to the waiter that the yolks be runny. Further, the attempted separation of the sauces fails once you attempt to cut into the dish, which results in an odd hollandaise-merchand de vin mix that was rich but not entirely enjoyable.
Another interesting dish was their scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, crème fraiche, and caviar. The eggs were soft and the salmon was nice and mild. This was a good dish when placed on top of their toasted baguette accompaniments but by itself it was just a little bit too many soft things together. When the crème fraiche was mixed into the eggs, it resulted in a consistency that can only be described as "mushy."
The French toast was prepared from large slices of fairly ordinary brioche. It was tasty but there was nothing particularly special about this dish, and you can get better (and cheaper) French toast elsewhere, such as at La Fourchette. The Croque Madame was also a good dish, though nothing spectacular. It's esentially a French ham and cheese sandwich with mornay sauce, a sunny side up egg, and fries. This filling dish is a decent choice but it's also nothing special and certainly doesn't warrant its $15 price tag.
Finally, Poste offers a variety of fresh, though expensive ($11), brunch cocktails. We tried the "Poste Mary," which had an interesting orange color. While it tasted fresh and was obviously made in house, it was conspicuously lacking in heat, which was a big disappointment. It was refreshing though.
The service was very accomodating. If only their entrees were as good as their doughnuts.
Contact information after the jump. Continue reading.
555 8th Street, NW
Washington DC 20004
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