Last Sunday, we celebrated EDO’s birthday with a ladies’ brunch at Napoleon Bistro (1847 Columbia Road). I suggested this spot because I had been there once before and remembered really liking the crepes and the chic, Euro-romantic vibe.
We had a party of nine, so I was really happy that they would take a reservation for brunch. We arrived at 11am and were promptly seated, and our drink orders taken. I ordered a delicious French pressed coffee ($5). I usually load my coffee with milk and sugar, but the flavor of this one was so smooth, it could be drunk black. Very Curious George got the Nutella latte (well, really she ordered a vanilla latte, but the waitress misheard, so we all shared the botched drink). It was truly rich and decadent, with creamy Nutella coating the insides of the glass.
As we enjoyed our drinks, we noticed that our server had disappeared. Fourty-five minutes later, she still had not returned to take our food order. We wondered if setting the clocks back for the time change just meant that everything was on a one-hour delay.
On the bright side, the wait to place our orders gave us plenty of time to look over the menu, and as we became more and more ravenous and light-headed, we also became inclined to order more and more food. And, despite the really terrible service (I will reiterate—really terrible), the food was delicious!
Among the sweet dishes, the chocolate croissant ($3) was a satisfying pastry, with a flaky, buttery crust and chocolate center. The French toast was nice and thick, and delightful when drizzled with syrup ($5).
EDO truly enjoyed the Last Tango crepe ($9), a sweet dessert-for-breakfast crepe filled with gooey Nutella, chocolate, strawberries, whipped cream and berry melba sauce. The sweet tart sauce was an excellent flavor pairing with the hazelnut of the nutella.
The savory dishes were a big hit at the table too. I loved the Budapest ($11), a crepe filled with ground beef, onions, tomatoes, and green peppers. The sour cream cilantro sauce on top was a perfect addition to offset the spices in the meat.
The presentation of the Mona Lisa ($9) was quite unique. It definitely looked like a piece of art, and Pants raved about the mushrooms in the dish. She was super satisfied with the baked egg with provolone cheese and fresh parsley served over mushrooms and onions in a crispy crepe bowl. The potatoes had a nice flavor of paprika and thyme (it might have been rosemary).
We also enjoyed the Santorini ($10, not pictured), a crepe filled with spinach, caramelized red onions, ricotta and feta cheese; the quiche of the day ($8) with lamb sausage, gruyere, red and green bell peppers, and onion; and the buckwheat waffle ($10, not pictured) topped with seasonal fruit (melon, strawberry and pineapple).
Overall, Napoleon Bistro served up a delicious brunch in a very swanky setting, but they definitely need to improve their service.