When Tony Tomeldon of the Pug and John Solomon of Solly’s teamed up with Chef Shannan Troncoso-former Executive Chef of Matchbox Capitol Hill-to open Brookland’s Finest Bar & Kitchen, I was excited. When I finally went and noticed an open and inviting restaurant, I was thrilled. And when I tasted the food – from their outdoor bar area looking into the restaurant, with a TV view, I was blown away.
With more of DC’s periphery being explored by great Chefs, and home-seekers alike, there are some amazing places outside of the traditional center of town areas. And yes, Uber can easily get you there and back, so no excuses.
But in all seriousness, Chef Shannan has some seriously culinary skills (s evident from the RAMMY Award on her mantle) to accompany her warm personality and passion for cooking. Their open daily for lunch and dinner, with early and late night happy hours as well. We went for brunch and can’t wait to go back – especially for their Tuesday lobster night!
For starters, wherever you are sitting, warm fresh boiled peanuts will soon grace your table. A welcomed accompaniment from the traditional bread basket, the peanuts are salty, slightly warm, and tender. If you aren’t familiar with boiled peanuts, trust us on this one. If you are familiar, then you have already called to make a reservation as of reading this.
While peanuts substitute the complimentary bread basket, their bread and pastry sampler is not to be missed. Varying daily, but always made in house and paired with housemade spreads, our variety consisted of cornbread, a raisin-cinnamon roll with icing, and a sweet nut/fruit bread. They were all amazing, the cornbread particularly stood out as it was sweet, delicate, and very moist. The homemade butter paired with that was great, as was the jam.
Moving on, the tempura fried onion rings are not to be missed. Very light and delicate, the batter was not heavy at all but packed an amazing crunch. The sweet jumbo onion separated cleanly from the batter, and the parmesan dusting added a great salty component.
Chips and dip? How about Brussels sprouts chips and dip. These Brussels sprout leaves are crispy fried with sea salt and lemon, providing a bright crispy citrus note. The dill cream sauce is a perfect pairing and these are wildly addictive, and healthy – right? Sure.
For brunch entrees, we recommend the shrimp and grits, the burger and any sandwiches, and the burrito, which is what we’re going to talk about. Housemade chorizo and scrambled eggs meat a housemade green chile sauce and Tilamook cheddar with a potato hash on the side. If you like breakfast burritos, treat yourself to this. The chorizo was packed with flavor, and while I could have used a bit more spice in the dish, it’s easily added with hot sauce they will provide you. The green chile sauce however was phenomenal. Packed with sweet and tangy flavors of green chile, it paired perfectly with the chorizo.
A great dessert list including beignets, brioche bread pudding, and cheesecake truffle bites to name a few, the cannolis stood out. Obviously housemade, these flaky ricotta filled tubes are crispy on the outside before becoming slightly doughy, the ricotta is tart and sweet with the nutty crunch and flavor from the pistachios adding to their flavor. These are the best I’ve had in DC.
Do not be that person who doesn’t leave their comfort zones of NW DC or another area. If you don’t live near, or have never been to Brookland, this is your perfect chance to venture out. I can assure you it will be worth it. Chef Shannan and her partners have created something truly magical in this part of town. From the ambiance to the food, to the sheer delightful personality of the Chef, and the locals-only vibe that is more welcoming than exclusive, Brookland’s Finest is one of our new favorite places.
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