I got my first impression of Epicure while walking down NW 17th, as the sweet odors of bread and chocolate reached my nostrils. Generally, I adhere to the "follow your nose" rule, and found myself settling in for brunch.
The patio was already full, so I was seated inside. The decor was somewhat bistro meets industrial chic - very simple, bright walls with framed art, and black metal tables and chairs. I was presented with complimentary banana bread, dotted with melting bits of chocolate. Very moist, very addicting, and without a doubt the origin of the wonderful scents outside.
The menu is both simple and tasteful, augmented by daily specials. Both the crepes with honey-sweetened cheeses and fruit flambee and the wild mushroom frittata with chanterelles, morels, goat cheese, and plum tomatoes sounded delicious, but I decided on the crab cakes, topped with poached eggs and hollandaise ($12). The cakes were average-sized but plump, generously stuffed with sweet bits of crab. The eggs were poached perfectly, neither hard nor gelatinous. And the hollandaise was arguably the best I've had in town, pale yellow with great texture and hints of lemon. This was all accompanied by potato pancakes - crisp shredded potatoes made with a bit of egg, parmesan, and herbs de provence. Yum.
Service was both friendly and accomodating without being intrusive, and graciously lacks the snooty attitude that sometimes accompanies food of this caliber. My only qualm was that their mimosas, at $7 per flute, were slightly overpriced, but that is certainly a minor issue.
A great experience overall. Epicure is at NW 17th and Flanders if you want to check it out. They have garnered a bit of a following though, so make reservations if you don't want to wait! Hours, menus, and contacts are all on the website. Enjoy!
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