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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tap and Parlour

Plaudits: None
Neighborhood: U Street

The Setup

Suckered in by the promise of $7 bottomless mimosas (!), a group of us (Official Friends of DCWD Juju and Madison, Official Girlfriend of DCWD Texas, and Official Roommate of DCWD Rajistan) headed over to newly opened Tap and Parlour.

The Vibe

Located atop Bohemian Caverns, Tap and Parlour is the restaurant portion of the basement jazz club; between the two, there are a number of events listed on a chalkboard by the door, both musical and otherwise. Though it's hard to imagine where exactly that event would take place, as the dining area is much like someone's den. On your left as you enter is a long wooden bar, and a row of high tables. The rest of the seating is a row of half-booths and then a series of what can be described as "cigar lounges" - couches and ottomans surrounding coffee tables. Decor follows suit, like eating in the Study from the board game Clue: wood paneling, fireplaces, and upholstery, interrupted only by the occasional flat screen TV - which on this trip was showing Tom and Jerry and X-Men, the animated series (Saturday morning cartoons we were told).

The Food

Cards on the table: the boozy brunch did us in. The $7 bottomless did not disappoint in any way, and ended up wrecking all the plans I had for the Mid-City Sale. Sadly. Juju and Texas each ordered a Delightful (what Tap and Parlour calls their standard breakfast). It hardly seems worth writing about since something like that can neither be great nor truly awful.

I ordered the Chicken and Waffles, described on the menu as "well, you know." Compared to other chicken and waffles, this was a little subpar, with a sort of dry chicken paired with a similarly tasteless waffle. It wasn't horrible by any means, just not something you couldn't fix yourself - potentially even better. In some ways the "well you know" was sort of apropos.

On the other hand, the remaining two dishes were much better. Rajistan ordered the French Twist, an interesting take on French toast but with croissant halves, dipped in cinnamon and vanilla and served with kiwi, strawberries, and cream cheese. The plate made for a colorful presentation, and the toast itself was pretty delicious. A nice amount of sweet, without being too much; perhaps the only complaint was there wasn't more of it.

Madison had the Cuban scramble, a mess of eggs, black beans, cheddar, sour cream, salsa, and fried plaintains. Despite its haggard appearance, it was a strangely appetizing mix of food, providing all the elements necessary to beat back the hangover and soak up the mimosas.

The real winner in everyone's estimation though were the grits. I talk about grits a lot on this blog (and I really mean a lot, also see here and here and here). But good god these grits were unbelievable. They hit every note in the grit handbook: creamy, savory, cheesy, with that smooth but also lumpy texture. I'm in love with hyperbole, but these were totally worth it.

The Verdict

Great, if for nothing else than the mimosa deal and the grits.

Food Rating: ***
(out of 5)
Date Rating: 2.5 Hearts (out of 5)
Dress Code:
Bar Rating:
Quiet Drinks
(out of 5) ($25-$50 for two)
: If you're not there for brunch, then head downstairs to Bohemian Caverns for some nice jazz.

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