Sunday morning the collective decision was to trundle back up to Seaweed Cafe for brunch instead of cooking. Fine by me, I thought, someone else can wash the champagne flutes. (g)
Brunch starts at 10am --- we arrived at half past the hour and our party of 7 was seated at the big square table next to the wine bar in the new room so we got a little different look at the cafe. Our server turned out to be the young daughter of a acquaintance who greeted us warmly, and we had the same super-efficient lady busser who had taken such good care of us Friday night.
A bread basket of a whole grain, heavy Della Fattoria loaf and McEvoy oil appeared quickly. Untoasted or heated day-old can take the edge off the hunger, but not quite satisfy it. I asked for butter and it was a little better with that.
To celebrate Annette's birthday, we had a round of toasting with the NV E. Barnaut "Grande Reservee" Grand Cru Bouzy Brut Champagne I'd brought for the occasion. With two years of bottle age, the medium straw hue had a coppery tinge and the mouth-filling texture that gave away its Pinot Noir identity. It was wonderfully creamy and long on the palate with red fruit shadings mingled bread dough and chalky minerality. My thanks to Sr. Alderete for hand-carrying this to the US for me.
The brunch menu includes a selection of specialty teas sourced from Teance and served in traditional Chinese ceramics. Lynn was intrigued by the 40 year-old Puerh and ended up loving it. When we passed the tea leaf-filled pot around the table for others to sniff, the most common comment was that it smelled like compost. I had the Royal Courtesan Oolong that had a pleasant tannic edge cutting through the rich, full-blown flavors.
The food selection was wide-ranging and a bit outside the typical breakfast-y offerings. The French toast shown below might be the most mainstream of the plates that day.