Brunch. the gold standard.
Some friends and I gather together most Saturday mornings for brunch, trying different places around Seattle. While we sometimes have a bigger group, often there are just three of us, the original three who met at a diner early one morning when I was completely jet-lagged and uncharacteristically up early. (I can hardly believe it's been just about a year now). We've eaten at greasy-spoon diners and casual cafés and fancy restaurants. There have been hits and misses, and a few clear favorites, some dependable standbys. I am always late, rushing in with my hair still damp from the shower.
We had been meaning to try Harvest Vine since I first heard that they had started serving brunch. Some friends who have impeccable taste had gone, months ago, and raved about it. Finally, we made it there, after a quick trip to the farmer's market earlier in the morning. It was early, just after they opened; only a few tables were full. We ordered coffee and caracolillos (sweet rolls shaped like the snails they are named for), quickly, and debated over the rest of the menu. We all ordered eggs; I chose eggs scrambled with chanterelles and bacon. The caracolillos were perfect, spiraled rolls of soft dough that seemed like a cross between a croissant and brioche. They are a sign of good things to come.
Everything was perfect - M.'s baked eggs with tomato sauce and goodness knows what else, J.'s poached eggs and sausage, my scramble that is almost custard-like in its softness. The bacon is home-cured and the chanterelles are cooked just right, even if my revuelto looks, honestly, a little revolting. (There is no way to make eggs scrambled with mushrooms attractive). We mop up every bite with our toasts and mutter about what we might order next time, or if perhaps there is room in our stomachs for another dish. There isn't, of course. We'll have to come back, and soon. There have been few brunches as spot-on as this one. Watch out, Seattle. A new gold standard has been found.