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Posted at 09:00 AM ET, 11/29/2011

Room 11 fires up the griddle for brunch

Room 11 will begin brunch service this weekend after two years at its corner in Columbia Heights. Expect the food to feature some of the same twists on American cooking that Room 11’s small plates offer, like this dense French toast spiked with jalapenos and paprika and drizzled in maple syrup. (Lavanya Ramanathan/The Washington Post)
Despite its microscopic kitchen, Room 11 has, in its two years in business, managed to turn out utterly sophisticated, always on-trend comfort foods: warm cauliflower salad, duck confit, a pork-belly Cubano sandwich, that stuff-of-legend goat cheesecake — all of it cooked up in a space no bigger than a walk-in closet.

Adding brunch, then, seems like it could seriously throw off what is already a tightrope walk. So the Columbia Heights restaurant has been easing into the citywide Sunday ritual; over the past month, it’s been testing out dishes and teasing Facebook fans with promises. The day will soon be here: Brunch at Room 11 should launch this weekend. (Stay updated by following Room 11 on Facebook or Twitter.)

I got to sit in on one of these taste-tests in advance of the kickoff, and the early dishes are classic Room11. The early dishes included a savory French toast studded with jalepenos, a side salad with hints of dill and capers, mushroom-topped crostini, and a potato and chorizo fritatta. My hands-down favorite of the day? The best scone I’d ever had, a perfectly dense but soft wedge, laced with orange, walnut and chocolate but not too sweet, and retaining that crucial, slightly salty taste of baking powder.

Prices for the dishes ranged from $5 to $12. A new cocktail menu will also launch with brunch, and drinks will run around $10. In keeping with Room 11’s style, expect the dishes to rotate practically as fast as you grow to love them.

See more photos:

Room 11’s quiche with caramelized onion and cheddar — one of the dishes being tested for a soon-to-launch brunch.

This vegan wild mushroom bruschetta, topped with chives, was a standout.

By  |  09:00 AM ET, 11/29/2011

Categories:  Restaurants

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