Don Bauder 4:37 p.m., Dec. 27
As we were being led to our table at the newly opened Patio on Lamont, our hostess pointed out the brickwork in one of three dining areas -- the bricks had been part of Lamont Street Grill before the extensive renovations, some of which are still underway.
Despite the temptations of tasty looking cocktails such as the White Peach Sangria (with a "touch of thyme") and the Scratch Bloody Mary ("it's from scratch, natch"), I ordered a sparkling rosé to sip as I perused the menu.
My man and I began with the Tri-color Israeli Couscous ($9), a generous portion of cousous, bell peppers, feta, saffron, juicy-ripe cherry tomatoes, red onion, and thin strips of mint, all mixed together with a refreshingly tangy honey-lemon vinaigrette.
Our server informed us that in the evenings, the concept of dining at the Patio on Lamont is sharing, tapas style. But the brunch menu doesn't have the "small" and "medium" plates on the dinner menu, so we went more traditional, sharing an appetizer and then each ordering a main dish each (which we shared anyway, but these dishes aren't really set up for sharing unless you're a nosy foodie with a roaming fork... like me).
Here's where things got really impressive -- the place had just opened. It's forgivable for any new restaurant to have some shakeout in the kitchen. We were delightfully surprised when both my Cuban (roasted pork loin, Black Forest ham, gruyère on a pressed baguette; $11)) and David's Seafood Benedict (perfectly poached eggs, shrimp and sea scallops on a house-made biscuit; $12) were so well executed. The fries were crispy and the house-made ketchup had a nice smoky kick to it. The seafood was delicately flavored and not overcooked (which is so easy to do). David enjoyed the lightness of the house-made Bérnaise -- he said it seemed a bit of whipped cream might have been added to help lighten the sauce.
When I noticed the table beside us had ordered the Breakfast Flatbread ($10), I couldn't help but sidle over to take a photo.
On our way out, as we passed the heated outdoor patio with a fireplace (and soon, walls -- the plan is for the patio to be enclosed), David and I agreed that we should return at night, with a group of friends to try those cocktails and share plates.
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