photo uploaded by M.V. Jantzen on Flickr
I should start with two disclaimers here. 1) While I studied journalism in college, I have never written restaurant reviews. So, please bare with me if this is not what you consider a proper restaurant review. And 2) Montmartre is one of my favorite restaurants on the Hill so I may be a bit biased here.
I have been coming to Montmartre for dinner with my family for years. The menu always has something for everyone we bring. MY dad and brother-in-law are usually drawn to the liver, while my sister goes for the duck or rabbit. Personally, I am a sucker for the risotto or an of the soups. I find that everything has a simple extra touch that spices up the seemingly simple dishes. While they have been open for brunch since their opening, I only went for the first time this past Sunday. My sister’s in-laws were in town from Florida and Montmartre seemed like the perfect neighborhood brunch spot before doing some shopping at Eastern Market.
The menu was not quite what I expected. It was more like an abbreviated version of their regular menu, with only a few breakfast items added in. There were the staples like liver, hanger stake, chestnut soup (amazing, I highly recommend it) These are items I do not categorize with brunch, but I realize that some people enjoy a selection beyond the traditional breakfast food. That is the glory of brunch, after all– a little bit of everything for everyone. I tend to prefer the breakfast items for my first meal of the day, and luckily for me, all three were ordered by people at my table so I got a wonderful sampling of everything.
We started with a non-breakfast item- escargot. I generally do not like snails (it’s a texture thing) but these were amazing! They were cooked in a butter, garlic and parsley sauce that was soaked up perfectly with bread. The bread, by the way, is some of the best French bread around. One person in our party got the butternut squash soup, one of her favorites. Judging by the empty bowl, I think she was not disappointed at all.
Main Courses: Three of the six of us got the eggs benedict. The only possible complaint with the dish was that there was no english muffin under the poached eggs. Instead, the eggs were sitting on a pile of fresh spinach, then covered in hollandaise sauce. As I polished off the final bites, I realized that I had not even missed the english muffins. The spinach was perfectly cooked and mixed perfectly with the sauce (does anything not mix perfectly with the hollandaise sauce?).
One person ordered the omelet, which had a fondue of tomato, caper and olive inside. It made me almost wish that I had ordered that instead of the eggs benedict. Then I remembered how much I love the hollandaise sauce. And one person ordered the egg, chicken and parmesan quiche. Good but not as much my taste as the other two. The inside was a bit too runny for me and one of the spices in it was not appealing to me that morning.
If you have never been to Montmartre, I highly recommend it for brunch, lunch or dinner. It is a bit small and tables are pushed close together, but the food and wine are excellent. And they have a wonderful patio open when the weather is nice.
Montmartre also owns Montsouris in Dupont Circle. With the current sidewalk construction affecting business for everything on the strip, I would also like to put in a work for the sister restaurant!