SER - A Brunch Worth Discovering
If there is one meal that I always look forward to every weekend, it's BRUNCH. Why? Because this elaborate dining affair is so much more than just runny eggs (although that is a huge perk ;-)) ... it's about the experience.
And here's a restaurant that you'll want to add to your 'must try brunch places in the DMV area' list.
SER (Simple. Easy. Real.) just debuted their new brunch menu, which will be available every Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 am to 4:00 pm. The lovely Spanish eatery nestled in the Ballston corridor of Arlington, VA, is extremely inviting with its interior colorful decor (think vibrant splashes of mustard, coral and turquoise), beautifully appointed table settings and a cheerful and lively ambiance. And for warmer temp days, there is a patio outside that is equally enjoyable. At the helm of the kitchen is San Sebastián native Executive Chef and Co-Owner Josu Zubikarai (who honestly couldn't be nicer) and exudes talent which is easily seen in his dishes.
Recently, I, and a group of fellow bloggers/food writers had the opportunity to preview SER's newest brunch cocktails and savory and sweet items. If garlic soaked razor clams, gazpacho bloody marys, eggs with potatoes and chorizo and pineappple saffron pastries excite your palate, then you are in for a real treat! And not only that, but SER actually encourages individuals to be cozy while eating. If you come in your pajamas and order the prix fixe 'pajama menu', you get a complimentary mimosa. Cheers to that!
So without further ado, here's a pictorial breakdown of what you can look forward to.
SER's ornately garnished libations will immediately put you in vacation mode. You can choose from an eclectic list, but if you are in the mood for fruit and Spanish bubbles, then go for either the Blood Orange Mimosa (blood orange puree with cava) or Pear Bellini (cava with pear puree). If you want to spice it up a bit and are a fan of vodka, then get the Andalucian Bloody, a cocktail masterpiece that is literally gazpacho in your glass.
I have wanted to try razor clams for a long time, so when I saw this was on the menu, I was instantly elated and oh my gosh, they met my high expectations. The razor clams were simply prepared in olive oil, garlic and herbs and so darn good. Each bite literally left me wanting more. Note: These mollusks are seasonal, so be sure to ask if they are available, and if they are, get them. You won't regret your decision.
Now if you are looking for something fresh, light and flavorful, the pisto manchego is for you. This reminded me a lot of the French summer dish, ratatouille (which I love). The vegetables were tender, the raisins added the right amount of sweetness, the pine nuts gave the dish a perfect crunch and the poached egg completed the bite.
If fish tends to be your go-to brunch staple, then the verduras confitadas con ahumados will satisfy your craving.The rich-in-color dish includes a duo of smoked halibut and salmon, perfectly complemented with al dente cauliflower and asparagus topped with edible flowers.
Add a little element of mystery by ordering the catch of the day. We lucked out as it was tuna steak, with a seasonal vegetable medley. An impressive dish. The tuna was tender and juicy and the vegetable ragout added a superb flavor.
Looking for the quintessential brunch dish with a Spanish twist? Then choose the huevos al gusto. This platter includes two eggs (fried, poached or scrambled), a protein (chorizo, morcilla (blood sausage), jamon, shrimp, steak, smoked salmon or pork loin)) and a sizable portion of Spanish fries. One word - yum.
Spoil yourself with this sensational dessert, crujiente de pina. The puff pastry is buttery, the melange of crispy pineapple and saffron combines great flavor and texture, and the vanilla ice cream topping with leaves of mint and a strawberry drizzle creates a sweet that will blow you away.
More of a chocolate person? Then you will love the churros con chocolate. The Spanish fried dough is crisp on the outside and warm in the inside. Dip it in the hot cocoa and your dessert prayers will be answered.
So I say, make life a little brighter and indulge in a weekend phenomenon that permits day drinking, and head to SER for a brunch that will tantalize your senses.