We went to the Curious Grape with friends for brunch and had an outstanding experience -- the atmosphere, service, food, and wine were all fantastic.
The menu lists starters and main courses, along with wine pairing suggestions. (For example, they might indicate that a dish would go best with a medium-bodied white or light red. The menu then presents a corresponding list of wines available by the glass for each category.) Our server was very knowledgeable about the wines and, with a little discussion, recommended the ones she thought we'd enjoy most with our dishes. Best of all, for the few wines we weren't sure about, they brought us tastes. We were extremely pleased with each of the by-the-glass choices that we made.
The food was fantastic -- not your usual brunch fare. Our group began the meal with a selection of starters. The star dish was the wild boar donuts -- shredded wild boar, spiced with hoisin sauce, cilantro and pickled onions, served slider-style in a not-too-sweet donut with a slight dusting of powdered sugar. The combination of savory, spicy, and sweet was outstanding. The fried green tomatoes with bonita (tuna salad) were good but not the table favorite. The tomatoes were perfectly prepped, but the tuna salad on top and the star fruit garnish made for an odd pairing. The third starter that we sampled was an Austrian style pancake with peach, ginger, and sauterne compote. The pancake was great, but the compote was even better. For main courses we had the seared scallops with cheese polenta and smoked bacon, smoked salmon eggs benedict and two variations on a BLT. All were fantastic and perfectly prepared. One friend called the Breakfast BLT (housemade applewood smoked bacon, smoked ham, fried egg, heirloom tomatoes, and garlic aioli on a perfectly toasted baguette) the best breakfast sandwich he'd ever had. (I liked this place so much that I took a photo of the menu so that I could remember all the dishes that we had...)
One other great treat -- the check came with a 10% off coupon for same day purchases from the wine shop -- we could use it for wine, cheese, chocolate or anything else that they sold.
Located in the Village of Shirlington, this place is very convenient to I-395. There is parking on the street and several lots around the "village".
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