If you adhere to the “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” axiom, D.C. is starting to be rewarded with places that offer properly cooked eggs, well made coffee, and baked goods fresh from the oven. Here and there authentic street foods are popping up, like Mexican tortas, and we are seeing the demise of chafing dishes sporting frozen or fried offerings during happy hour too. New to the dining scene are interesting Italian snacking traditions, so, whether it’s stuzzichini, spuntini, cicchetti, or small bites on an aperitivo menu, you can find a fun tidbit somewhere, most days of the week.
Wednesday, October 21 Carluccio’s is offering their twist on an aperitivo menu Monday through Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m. in the bar area. The specials include 20 percent off the stuzzichini menu and $1 off house wines and Peroni beer on tap. If you are in the mood for something else special, we recommend you order a sharing board.
If you work in one of those offices where ordering lunch is the most important task of the day, the soon to arrive Cocina Tortas, the latest food biz from chef Quinten Frye of Big Bear Cafe fame, will be your latest obsession. This native Texan knows his way around a torta and other Mexican street food and is offering affordable and inventive tortas at popups around the city. And will soon offer lunch delivery for parties or groups with a ten sandwich minimum order. Once that happens you can try dreamy selections like grilled citrus marinated chicken breast with avocado, tomatillo, and cilantro slaw, the suadero made with smoked brisket, caramelized onions, pickled jalapeños, aged cheddar cheese, and salsa verde, and throw in a side like street corn or papas fritas with house-made katsup. Tortas are $12 each and sides are around $8.
This fun Italian restaurant is making the happy hour tradition more interesting by introducing an aperitivo menu in the 15-seat bar Monday through Friday, from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. Lupo Verde’s new pre-dinner snacks and special drinks are the perfect way to tide you over until dinner and the prices are refreshing too, with each plate priced from $5 to $8 each. On the drinks side, beer, wine, and cocktails are priced from $6 to $8 and are made to complement each dish. Try the Peppino cocktail made with gin, limoncello, lemon juice, and Prosecco paired with coupitillo, which are crispy sardines, shrimp and zucchini prepared with edible flowers and Meyer lemon aioli, the combination is bellissima.
Melrose Café & Jardenea
Nate Lindsay, the brilliant, young executive chef of Melrose Georgetown Hotel is always surprising guests and food lovers with his creative and perfectly prepared menus, and his latest surprise doesn’t disappoint: Melrose Café. It’s the best breakfast boon in D. C. for the price, the quality of the food, and the fab Parisian atmosphere. Available in the hotel’s lobby, you don’t have to be a guest to enjoy the breakfast on the run options available from 6:00 to 11:00 a.m. Monday through Friday and from 7:00 to 11:30 a.m. on the weekends. For something more substantial than bagels, pastries, and coffee, you may enjoy a full breakfast in Jardenea or host a full power breakfast meeting with alcoves that include plug and play nooks.
Summer Whitford is the D.C. Editor at The Daily Meal and also writes about food, drink, and travel. Follow her on Twitter @FoodandWineDiva, on Instagram at thefoodandwinediva, and read more of her stories here.