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Downtown Gets a New Italian Brunch With Baked Guanciale and Eggs

Eater logo Eater 7/12/2019 Gabe Hiatt
a pizza sitting on top of a plate of food: Brunch items from Via Sophia © Joy Asico/For Via Sophia Brunch items from Via Sophia

Recently opened Via Sophia introduces its brunch menu this weekend

Starting this weekend, visitors to the renovated Hamilton Hotel downtown will able to order eggs Benedict made with fried mortadella and escarole, rigatoni with a breakfast sausage ragu, and bucatini carbonara filled with foraged mushrooms at its lobby-adjacent Italian restaurant.

Via Sophia (1001 14th Street NW) will serve its first brunch (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) Sunday, introducing a host of new dishes from executive chef Colin Clark, a former chef de cuisine at Fiola Mare with a heady list of mentors. Next weekend, brunch will be served every Saturday and Sunday. Clark, who opened the restaurant focusing on fresh pastas and wood-fired pizzas last month, worked under James Beard Award-winner Marc Vetri in Philadelphia and got his start in D.C. at Le Diplomate.

Clark’s dinner and lunch dishes recently got a winning write-up in Washington Post critic Tom Sietsema’s First Bite column. “In true Italian fashion, the chef sets his ego aside and lets the ingredients shine,” Sietsema writes of Clark’s linguine and clams. He also commends pizza made out of whole wheat dough that ferments for two days and “doesn’t taste like anyone else’s in town.”

For brunch, Clark’s crew will serve a lengthy menu that starts with cheese and salumi before segueing to apps that include piadina — a flatbread made with tapenade, prosciutto, coppa, anchovy, cress, and fried shallots — and a grilled focaccia topped with smoked salmon, creme fraiche, and pickles. There are also sections for classics — like guanciale and eggs “primavera” baked in tomatoes or French toast with blueberry hibiscus sauce, berries, and hazelnut brittle — along with pastas and pizzas.

Nearby in Shaw, the original All-Purpose started serving a pizza-packed brunch menu that landed its Capitol Riverfront location the honor of Eater D.C.’s 2018 Brunch of the Year. In Mount Vernon Triangle, Michael White’s recently opened Nicoletta Italian Kitchen has a brunch menu that features a breakfast pizza topped with smoked pastrami salmon.

a pan of food on a plate © Joy Asico/For Via Sophia
Baked egg primavera
a bowl of food on a plate © Joy Asico/For Via Sophia
Bucatini carbonara with foraged mushrooms
a piece of food on a plate © Joy Asico/For Via Sophia
French toast with blueberry hibiscus sauce, berries, and hazelnut brittle
a plate of food on a table © Joy Asico/For Via Sophia
Piadina flatbread made with tapenade, prosciutto, coppa, anchovy, cress, and fried shallots
a plate of food with a slice of pizza © Joy Asico/For Via Sophia
Quiche Lorraine with smoked pancetta

Via Sophia brunch by on Scribd

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