What a lovely Sunday brunch at Perennial Virant! I wanted to hit this place up when it was simply “Perennial” but never got the chance so I can’t give a comparison but I can say that it’s pretty damn good since the switch.
The menu was pretty limited but we managed to find some very tasty morsels on it. There were only a few ‘complete’ dishes with the rest being more of a ‘build your own’ type scenario. We opted for one ‘complete’ and one ‘build your own’. Note the ‘sticky buns’ extension. Yeah, we did want it… but we didn’t get it.
Complete: 3 egg omelette (why do people put 3 eggs in omelettes? It’s too many.) with chevre (aka goat cheese), Prosciutto, arugula pesto, radishes. The cheese was creamy and tangy, the Prosciutto; salty, the radishes; fresh, the pesto; lost. Quite tasty overall but you really had to hunt for the flavor of the pesto. And the Prosciutto could have sliced a little thinner to make it easier to cut and chew. It wasn’t very tender, but it was, of course, delicious none the less. Overall, though, it was way above average as far as omelettes go.
For our ‘build your own’ we decided on poached eggs, spicy kale & pickled onions and creamy grits. Fab, fab and fab. Seriously. Everything was perfectly seasoned, the grits tasted like corn (not butter or cheese) and I could have eaten a bathtub full of the kale. It was sauteed with a little oil and/or butter (I’m not sure because it wasn’t overwhelming either way… which is a good thing) and mixed with these sweet yellow onions that had been sauteed then pickled in a sort of sweet & sour pickling liquid. The flavor of the onion really came through the tangy, acid & slight sweetness.
The combination was truly everything I’d hoped and dreamed…. Maybe even better. Look how beautiful it is! You know you’re at a good place when something so simple as kale, grits and a poached egg makes you dance in your seat. We were dancing through the entire brunch.
How awesome would it be to have a restaurant across the street from the farmers’ market? REALLY awesome, if you ask me. It looks like chef Paul Virant is really workin’ that angle. Fresh peas and berries and biscuits! Oh my!
The place looks great. It’s modern but rustic. Clean lines but with pretty wood accents and a bunch of pickling jars filled with a variety of colorful fruits and veggies lining the shelves. It’s like being in an uber-chic farmhouse.
The plaid-wearing servers were extremely proficient. Kind when enticed into conversation but otherwise, all business. A good combo, I’d say.
Overall, an excellent experience. I would definitely recommend Perennial Virant to anyone looking for an elegant yet comfortable brunch.
The Short Version (Out of 10)…
Food: 8.5 (I kinda wish there were more options)
Overall impression: 9
Would I go back?
I will certainly be going back for dinner. The menu seems to be more extensive and composed.
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