Thursday, July 28, 2016

Bar Civita Brunch Review

Brunch Buffet

Variety is the spice of life; and when it comes to brunch, Bar Civita has variety (and good taste) down to a science. Chef/owner Liam LaCivita has done wonders with the former Murphy's of DC space, delivering generous, tasty Italian-American fare with solid (sometimes stellar) service for a literal song ($20 for adults, $8 for children.)

Generous is subjective; but one pass through Bar Civita's buffet area, and you'll quickly discover... Chef Liam offers a little bit of everything. This includes American breakfast staples such as pork sausage (great kick) bacon strips (crispy, salty) and tender pan-roasted potatoes with not one, but two kinds of scrambled eggs (regular and Italian.) The former - creamy delicious, and the latter - sprinkled with bits of asparagus, prosciutto and provolone cheese. The aforementioned potatoes looked gorgeous, but needed a bit more seasoning. Meanwhile, Honey-buttered French Toast hit all the right notes. Overall, a terrific first plate.

Brunch Buffet - Round 2

Round two featured a myriad of proteins, highlighted by a sensational chicken breast with terrific char and even better seasoning. The meatballs were a bit dense for my liking, but nicely flavored (great sauce.) Salmon & shrimp were OK, but probably better served with something (i.e. pasta, risotto.) Speaking of pasta, Bar Civita's Pasta Salad was, in a word... scrumptious. Along with the chicken, perhaps the best savory bites of brunch. More on sweets, in a bit.

Housemade Doughnuts

In between plates, Bar Civita puts its predecessors to shame. Granted, Murphy's was an Irish pub, but the renovated/stylish space is miles brighter and more inviting. Ditto for the music, a nostalgic blend of classics from Marvin Gaye, Percy Sledge and (of course) Frank Sinatra. Service was attentive, and (on some occasions) quite special... even to a large table with not one, not two but three infants (yikes.) The outdoor patio is about the same, with a full view of 24th Street (great for people watching.)

More dessert

You could literally eat for hours, given the wide variety of choices. Unfortunately, I was pressed for time... but that didn't prevent me from devouring a pair of insanely yummy, full-sized doughnuts (caramel glazed, chocolate cruller) fresh out of the oven. Word has it, you can stop by and grab some to go (either $2.50 or $2.75, forgive me... my mind was elsewhere.) Me? I'd buy them at double the price. Yeah, they're that good. FYI, doughnuts are a la carte; but there's absolutely no shortage of buffet desserts to keep your budget intact. I chose only three (less than half of what's available.) The nutella pastry was a bit heavy; but the Blueberry Muffin was moist and delicious (powdered sugar = nice add) and the mini chocolate pudding, a delectable end to a brunch-rific feast, fit for a (wannabe) king.

It goes without saying, I'll be back (many times) for brunch. $20 is a downright steal for the amount of food available. Why would anyone wait 20-30 minutes to get into nearby Open City, where the food quality is inferior, yet much, much pricier? Hopefully this review "clues you in" to Woodley Park's best kept secret... Bar Civita + brunch = Pure bliss. Andiamo a mangiare!