Brunch and be merry: A roundup of local, mid-morning eats

The Pigeon Hole photo by Elli Williams, Oakhurst Inn Café and Petit Pois photos by Emily Sacco. The Pigeon Hole photo by Elli Williams, Oakhurst Inn Café and Petit Pois photos by Emily Sacco.

Ah, the holiday season. The town is adorned with lights, music fills the air, and 2016 looms on the horizon. Friends and family gather to share the joy of love, laughter, overindulgence and dysfunction. Anticipation builds for what the coming year will bring, and we start to mull over New Year’s resolutions. But, before we get back to the daily grind, let’s have brunch.

Bluegrass Grill & Bakery

Don’t be fooled by the unassuming appearance of this weekend hot spot nestled downtown next to the railroad tracks. The specials have garnered this homey, old school-style eatery local, state and national acclaim.

Signature dish: The Hungry Norman

Although owner Chrissy Benninger had trouble deciding on just one, for a delicate balance of savory and sweet she says you can’t go wrong with The Hungry Norman: two poached eggs atop a halved English muffin with blackberry jam, goat cheese and maple sausage links served with a side of hollandaise sauce and home fries.

Best hangover remedy: The Freight Train

To nurse the worst of hangovers, Benninger recommends this monster assemblage of breakfast staples that includes cheddar cheese, sausage, bacon, ham, gravy and two eggs on a bed of home fries. “I’ve only seen a handful of people finish it,” she says.

Closed New Year’s Day

Commonwealth Skybar

While it may be a dinner-and-dance scene by night, the elevated spot located on the Downtown Mall offers classic morning fare on Sundays. The spacious yet intimate modern interior offers a unique brunch dining experience.

Signature dish: Brioche French toast

Thick-sliced bread is covered with apricot maple syrup and sprinkled with powdered sugar for a sweet start to Sunday.

Best hangover remedy: Chicken and waffles

Indulgent and filling, crispy fried chicken sits atop fluffy waffles smothered in sausage gravy and accompanied by two eggs and fried potatoes.

Open New Year’s Day

Fossett’s at Keswick Hall

Enjoy luxurious morning eats without veering from the wine trail. The estate’s brunch offerings include a number of specially stylized choices and breakfast cocktails mixed to individual taste.

Signature dish: Stuffed French toast

After contemplating the establishment’s popular build-your-own breakfast option, Director of Food Bryan Bousquet nominated this indulgent take on a sweet breakfast classic. Bananas Foster fills the inside of buttery brioche bread served with a side of bacon.

Best hangover remedy: B&B Waffle

As a savory answer to stuffed French toast, a golden-brown waffle is stacked with braised pork belly, drizzled with maple syrup, then topped with a bit of cheese and jalapeno. And the Albemarle Orange is a unique brunch companion that has all the elements of a mimosa, plus Galliano—a sweet herbal liqueur with vanilla and star anise. “It’s a revival of the old style as used in a Harvey Wallbanger,” Bousquet says.

Open New Year’s Day

Oakhurst Inn Café

Attached opposite the inn sits a small but contemporary café and espresso bar, just off Jefferson Park Avenue. Sourcing many ingredients locally, the kitchen offers imaginative takes on Southern classics. (C-VILLE co-owner Bill Chapman owns the Oakhurst Inn Café.)

Signature dish: Eggs meurette

In this French twist on eggs Benedict, two poached eggs cooked in a burgundy wine sauce atop sliced crostini.

Best hangover remedy: The Farm

Combat that morning peakedness with local Double H Farm sausage, sunny side up egg, Irish cheddar, pickled jalapeño, watercress and Pommery mustard on a buttery bun. Front of House Manager Vera Talamaoa dishes that the Café Bloody Mary, which incorporates carrot-ginger juice in place of the traditional mix, is also a favorite.

Open New Year’s Day

Petit Pois

Touted for the authenticity of its modern French-centered cuisine, this bistro gives classic brunch fare le traitement de la France.

Signature dish: Focaccia with poached eggs

Server Chris Coffey named this variation of eggs Benedict as a favorite among brunch-goers. The dish contains primarily local ingredients: focaccia bread covered with tomatoes, maple bacon from Rockbarn, Swiss cheese from Mountain View, eggs from Polyface and hollandaise sauce to finish.

Best hangover remedy: Sausage béchamel and poached eggs

Coffey offers up the restaurant’s modern spin on biscuits and gravy for the morning after. Two eggs come poached and crowned with a velvety béchamel loaded with Rockbarn sausage, caramelized onions and hollandaise served with bread.

Open New Year’s Day

The Pigeon Hole

Venture to the UVA Corner and stop in at the old wooden house painted robin’s egg blue that sits smack dab in the middle of Elliewood Avenue. The Pigeon Hole serves up no-nonsense favorites with simplicity and rustic flair.

Signature dish: Huevos rancheros

Owner Roya Makki picked this crowd favorite that features two corn tortillas topped with two eggs any style, black refried beans, salsa fresca, melted cheese and sour cream.

Best hangover remedy: Home Again

This original dish starts with scattered hashbrowns topped with two eggs, cheese and red-eye gravy (made with ham and coffee) with a side of bacon.

Open New Year’s Day

Posted In:     Living


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