DC’s seemingly insatiable appetite for brunch has led to a glut of restaurants opening at 11 to serve overpriced eggs or just straight up lunch fare (sorry Taan, ramen is LUNCH) along with even more obnoxiously priced sugary ‘breakfast cocktails’. Occasionally, the stars align and you get to enjoy the best of it: an inventive twist on comforting brunch classics at a great spot with no wait because it’s better known for dinner.
Enter Kapnos. We were already fans when we noticed that it was open for brunch one weekend and decided to stop in. The good-sized menu includes small and large sweet and savory plates, from Greek spreads to omelets, waffles, phyllo pies, and panini.
Start with an actually tasty mimosa – lemongrass pineapple is a showstopper but I may have to try pomegranate cardamom next time – or a boozy herb-infused kegged lemonade.
On the sweet side, baklava french toast and Greek coffee waffles are delicious. The french toast is fluffy and moist, topped with perfumey candied chestnuts, pears, and oranges. It’s homey and satisfying yet sophisticated.
There’s nothing subtle about the coffee waffle. Intense coffee and dark chocolate flavors (there are fine Greek-style coffee grounds in the batter) aren’t dulled by cinnamon butter or whipped cream, both barely sweetened. Chunks of bittersweet chocolate on top remind you that this waffle is for grown ups. We’ve shared an order for the table on two visits now and find it to be the perfect appetizer, mid-meal bite, and dessert.
The phyllo pies, both vegetarian, are a great counterpoint to dessert-for-breakfast. They’re small enough to eat as an entree with room for something else to share, or vice versa if you want a few bites of savory to go with your french toast. Both the potato garlic pie with red pepper almond puree and spanakopita with spinach, leeks, and feta are flaky and flavorful.
The omelet with mushrooms, spinach, and manouri cheese is solid but unremarkable – next time I’ll try scrambled eggs with zucchini, tomato, and yogurt. Similarly, pressed toast with apples and truffle honey is no more exciting than it sounds. Finally, for those who insist on lunch at brunch, there’s an orzo pasta bake with spinach, feta and leeks. Just make sure you also get a bite or two of someone’s waffles. And an extra mimosa.
2201 14th St NW
* We’ve been able to drop in for brunch so far, but this could change once the secret gets out. *