“L’Ardente Now Serving Brunch!”

photo by Mike Fuentes Photography

From a press release:

L’Ardente (200 Massachusetts Ave. NW) has begun serving brunch from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, when diners can enjoy a thoughtful collection of L’Ardente favorites from the lunch and dinner menus along with several dishes crafted specially for brunch.

photo by Mike Fuentes Photography

Guests who like to start the day with something sweet will want to work their way through Executive Pastry Chef Manabu Inoue’s Dolce section, which showcases a few items exclusive to brunch: the Rotolo al Pistacchio ($18), a trio of brioche rolls filled with pistachios and cinnamon butter, all topped with pistachio cream cheese frosting; Bomboloni ($18), our mini donuts rolled in sugar, stuffed with hazelnut cream and served with crème anglaise for dunking; and the epic Tiramisù Toast ($22), a fanciful dish that marries French toast with the beloved Italian dessert.

The rest of the menu is an enticing roster of savory dishes in the categories of Frutti di Mare, Insalata, Pizza, Pasta, Piatti and Per la Tavola. Among these, the brunch-only dishes include the Uovo pizza ($20) topped with farm eggs, feta, Calabrian chili flakes and parsley; Crostino al Salmone ($24) made with sourdough from beloved local breadmaker Seylou Bakery piled with hot-smoked salmon, avocado, quail eggs and trout roe; Lobster Benedetto ($42), our spin on eggs benedict that brings a base of sliced house focaccia topped with truffled leek fonduta, poached eggs and hollandaise; and Uova in Purgatorio ($24), a hefty plate of two poached eggs with sausage sugo and burrata served with pane bianco.

The Insalata section of the menu includes L’Ardente’s popular Cesare ($17) and seasonal Burrata Romesco ($19), currently garnished with olive dust and served with warm pane bianco, plus several other veg-forward options for $15-$19. Prawns, salmon, lamb merguez and chicken from the grill can be added to salads for $10-$14 more.

Other highlights include pizzas baked in the gold-plated Marra Forni oven, such as the popular Americana ($22) topped with dry-aged pepperoni and the Funghi ($24) accented with a creamy morel mornay sauce, wild mushrooms and Parmigiano. Housemade pastas include the Maccheroni ($21), a lunchtime hit of short pasta tubes tossed with grilled chicken, zucchini, pesto, Pecorino and lemon; a comforting mound of Gnocchi ($24) topped with lamb ragù, fennel and peas; and the brunchiest of all pastas, our Rigatoni alla Carbonara ($24) tossed with pancetta, pecorino and black pepper served with a confit egg yolk nestled on top. Pizzas run from $18-$24, and pastas range in price from $19-$24.

Lead Bartender Hunter Douglas and Director of Beverage Micah Wilder have also created a stunning selection of brunch cocktails, including a Caprese Bloody Mary ($15) garnished with a Caprese skewer and a balsamic salt rim; the Sorbetto Spritz ($17), a swirl of apple cider sorbet topped with Champagne and a splash of bergamot liqueur; and, of course, Mimosas ($12) and the Espresso Torino ($18), our version of an espresso martini. The Negroni Classico ($14), Caprese Bloody Mary, Espresso Torino and Glam Spritz ($16) can all be ordered with or without alcohol.

As with all of our menus, dietary restrictions are listed next to each item and a key is provided at the bottom for folks who want to know if a dish is vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, dairy free or contains shellfish or nuts.”

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