Monday, July 29, 2013

1618: Brunch

I'm afraid it's nearly impossible to describe how fantastically delicious 1618 Seafood Grille’s brunch is. I would spend every Sunday morning here for the rest of my life if I could. It’s not as expensive as you might think, especially if you don’t order a cocktail, but as soon as you read the mouth-watering descriptions, you'll be ordering one. Nearly everyone in the restaurant was sipping on a yellow or orange drink.

The 1618 Mimosa will just about knock you on your butt. Clementine Vodka, Ginger Liquor, Fresh Orange Juice and Sparkling Wine give quite the twist on the traditional brunch favorite. One of these and you’ll be good for the rest of the day. The Little Brother combines Chipotle Vodka and Bloody Mary Mix in a Balsamic Reduction-drizzled martini glass, garnished with a slice of Raw Ahi Tuna, ceviche style, if you will. The acidity of the Bloody Mary Mix and Balsamic Vinegar cook and flavor the tuna ever so slightly, so it’s best to save that bite until the end. This is spicy and robust – it will wake you up. The Pamplemosa combines Citrus Vodka, Grapefruit Juice, and Sparkling Wine. This cocktail is pink, flirty and lovely for summer. The Day After features Tito’s Vodka, Pickle Juice, Spicy Bloody Mary Mix, freshly grated Horseradish, Lime Juice and three olives on a skewer. Wonderfully spicy.

Homemade muffins are served with salted butter and strawberry jam. The seasonal varieties I sampled were Blueberry one morning, and Banana Pecan another. Delightful. After perusing the menu for the 100th time, I settled on what just might be the most delicious morsel I’ve put into my mouth all year long: a Buttermilk Chive Biscuit, served open-faced, topped with Canadian Bacon, Hot Soppressata, a Fried Egg, Avocado Salsa, Grilled Red Pepper and Havarti Cheese. The flavors are perfect together – the Avocado Salsa cools your mouth from the salty Soppressata (a spicy salami), and the Fried Egg yolk runs all over the plate, giving you a chance to use that fluffy biscuit to sop everything up. My mouth is watering just thinking about it again. This is what dreams are made of. It is sensational.

The Sweet Potato Biscuit is savory, not too sweet, featuring notes of Cheddar Cheese. The open faced-biscuit offers three juicy pieces of perfectly seasoned Pork Tenderloin on a bed of wilted Kale, and is topped off with a Poached Egg. The other side of the biscuit presents three slices of tomatoes on a bed of Lingonberry Cream Cheese. This spread is super creamy and tart, much like the hybrid of a raspberry and a blackberry. It is a perfect complement to the savoriness of the biscuit.

Alongside these works of art, you have your choice of indulgent sides. Anything from Shrimp Macaroni and Cheese, to Grilled Asparagus and Cheesy Hollandaise, to my choice – the Cinnamon Roll. Warm and gooey in the middle with notes of lemon, it was larger than the biscuit, and what we're all looking for in the perfect breakfast pastry. Or side dish.

The Breakfast Tacos are also not to be missed. After having several taco varieties at 1618 Wine Lounge, I knew these would be tasty. Plump Blackened Shrimp, salty Chorizo and fluffy Scrambled Eggs fill grilled Flour Tortillas, and are topped with shredded Lettuce, Pico de Gallo and Jalapeño Sour Cream and Manchego Cheese. I missed the heat from the jalapeno, but the cool cream was much appreciated, and the Manchego was the perfect cheese choice, bringing wonderful saltiness.

The Potato-Crusted Alaskan Halibut is presented in true 1618 fashion, as all of their dishes tend to be aesthetically pleasing. The juicy fish is stacked on top of a Bacon, Spinach and Cheese Quiche, with a Deviled Egg on the top of that, surrounded by Brussels Sprouts that have been sautéed in Duck Fat and Bacon, drizzled with a Tobasco Cream Sauce that warms the back of your throat. I think Chef Neal takes everyone’s favorite words and ingredients and puts them together. Everything he makes is a masterpiece.

I will be back to work my way down the menu, all the way to the Bacon and Eggs Cocktail. Service is spot-on, and it’s clear that everyone is working together toward a common goal: making the customer happy, comfortable and blown away. I definitely was.

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