Mimosas; poached eggs; the only way you’ll get me out of bed before 10am on a Sunday.
Yes, Goutasters, today we’re talking about Brunch. Capital B.
Brunch is not a French concept, but it’s the American meal that aligns best with the French habit of eating as a two hour event, rather than eating in a sprint for fuel. So, as you may imagine, I brunch a lot.
This summer, I’m falling in love with patio brunches and clever French twists on classic brunch fare like the goodies coming out of the kitchen at my neighborhood bistro, P17, here in Uptown, Denver.
Seasonal to the max, you can enjoy your 80° summer day on the patio with a freshly juiced watermelon or honey dew mimosa while the fruits are in season. The seasonal fruits also appear on other parts of the menu, like in Chef Mary Nguyen’s roasted beets and watermelon salad or her red kale and blueberry salad that also gets a toss with farro and fresh currant vinaigrette.
Even the mussels seem ready for the summer sun with their bright yellow color from dijon and harissa, a North African chili pepper paste that we also loved in its appearance at Bistro Barbès this year. At a $9 price point, P17’s heaping plate of moules frites is also an outstanding value.
P17’s Bistro Benedict is what really gets my brunch going, though. In an appropriately French twist, Chef Mary trades a traditional hollandaise for an herb-y béarnaise sauce (that’s like a hollandaise with shallot, chervil, peppercorn, and tarragon instead of lemon). And boy is this a killer béarnaise. Light enough to avoid the mayonnaise clumping, rich enough to coat the thin-sliced house-made ham I’ve loved so much at Olive and Finch, you have to wonder why anyone stopped with a simple hollandaise before.
And because even brunch needs dessert (and if you think it doesn’t, then you’re doing it wrong), I like to close my Bistro Brunch with an order of P17 stuffed French toast to split with the table. Full of house-made ricotta and fresh blueberries, the cornflake-crusted thick slice of bread gets deep fried and drizzled with blueberry coulis before it arrives in all its glory for quick devouring. Hello, lover.
P17 Serves Brunch Saturday and Sunday 9am – 3pm.
What are your favorite Brunch rituals or dishes? Are you noticing any fun seasonal or French trends on Brunch menus around you? Let me know in the comments!