You all know I love Navy Yard newcomer Whaley’s. When I heard that they were soft opening their new brunch this past weekend, I was all over it.
The brunch menu carries over the same focus on fresh, sustainable food that’s given Whaley’s a quick rise to critical acclaim in the short time since it’s been open. They’ve also created a couple of new cocktails to celebrate the new brunch, and they are terrific.
We tried the #11 with aged cachaca, peach, lime and cava and #9 with Tito’s house infused chili vodka, housemade bloody mary mix and lemon. The cachaca cocktail was the star, the perfect refreshing nod to summer and the bloody was a tasty take on a classic.
(Tom didn’t know I was taking that picture, but I love his thoughtful gaze. Contemplating brunch really brings out his eyes…)
The fresh, seasonal theme continued with our appetizer of fluke sashimi with grilled peaches, Meyer lemon and pickled chili.
While I am not accustomed to eating raw fish for my first meal of the day, I could certainly get used to it. The sweet peach and crisp peppers were a beautiful touch and the fish melted in your mouth. Whaley’s excels at crudos and you should definitely be ordering them.
There were so many things on the menu we wanted to try, but the price points are high enough that we couldn’t exactly go crazy ordering. After a serious hanger-induced discussion, we settled on two entrées that sounded promising. We were in the mood for breakfast more than lunch food, so that helped in the decision-making process.
Tom, ever the fried-food-for-brunch enthusiast, naturally gravitated toward the chicken fried oysters with poached eggs, a buttermilk biscuit and chorizo gravy.
The chorizo gravy was stellar, rich and smoky without being too heavy and overall the dish was pretty good. The eggs were overdone but Tom thought the brininess of the oysters added a nice flavor profile to the dish.
Meanwhile, I dug into a gorgeous plate of buttermilk pancakes with peaches, pistachios and whipped cardamom mascarpone.
I don’t usually go sweet for brunch, but after a butt-kicking workout I felt a deserved the splurge. The thick, fluffy pancake was excellent and I loved the fresh peaches and whipped mascarpone toppings. The pancake was served with maple syrup, but only a smidgen was needed thanks to all the other delicious components of the dish.
Service was great, as usual. As this was their first brunch service, they made sure to check in regularly and kept our water constantly full.
I look forward to seeing how Whaley’s brunch progresses as time goes on. I’ll definitely return one of these days to try the chilled corn soup with Dungeness crab and the Carolina gold rice “carbonara”.
We also learned that now that they’re serving brunch, they’ll keep the bar open in the afternoon between brunch and dinner service – a big win for the neighborhood.
Whaley’s brunch is served Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.