Brunch Time

Posted October 17, 2007 at 6:07pm

Italian doughnuts and poached eggs with truffled hollandaise are the latest additions to Capitol Hill’s brunch scene, as neighborhood newcomer Locanda recently added Sunday brunch and weekday lunch to its schedule.

Lunch is now served Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and brunch runs Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. [IMGCAP(1)]

On the lunch menu, diners will find pastas such as mint pappardelle with lamb ragu, paninis, squash soup and a lamb burger stuffed with goat cheese with mint aioli, among other Mediterranean- influenced Italian fare.

Brunch brings many of the same savory options and adds breakfast foods to the mix, including bomboloni (Italian doughnuts) with housemade jam, creamy polenta with mascarpone and fresh berries, sunny-side-up eggs with sausage and smoked paprika potatoes, and poached eggs with asparagus, pancetta and truffled hollandaise. The bar is pouring brunch cocktails such as bellinis, mimosas and bloody marys.

Locanda is located at 633 Pennsylvania Ave. SE.

At The Market. The Penn Quarter FreshFarm Market will run through Nov. 15, which means there’s plenty of time to

grab some rich gelato from the newest market vendor, Dolcezza Argentine Gelato.

The Georgetown gelato and coffee shop, located at 1560 Wisconsin Ave. NW, recently joined the market lineup, but the connection goes further: Dolcezza is selling half-pints and pints of flavors made with ingredients from the market’s farmers, such as pumpkin gelato made from Toigo Orchards’ pumpkins.

The market is held Thursdays from 3 to 7 p.m. on Eighth Street Northwest between D and E streets.

Reservations Required. It’s no surprise that Charlie Palmer Steak’s new Thursday rooftop happy hour, featuring free food and a great view of the Capitol, has drawn some big crowds. To help manage the event’s popularity, the restaurant now requires reservations.

Starting the Monday before each happy hour, call the restaurant at 202-547-8100 and make a reservation. Walk-ins won’t be admitted.

The happy hour takes place each Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m. on the roof of 101 Constitution Ave. NW and is scheduled to run through Thanksgiving.

Free Tequila! Oyamel (401 Seventh St. NW) is preparing to kick off its Day of the Dead celebration, which will run from Oct. 29 through Nov. 3. Diners looking for a deal should mark their calendar for Oct. 31, when Oyamel will offer a free tequila tasting from 5 to 7 p.m.

The festival is inspired by one of Mexico’s most important and lively holidays, when families honor loved ones who have passed away.

The restaurant will be decorated with traditional Day of the Dead items, like skulls, papel picado (cut paper banners), candles, marigolds and an altar.

One of Mexico’s most famous chefs, Carmen “Titita” Ramirez of El Bajio restaurant in Mexico City, will visit Washington for the event, and Oyamel’s menu will feature traditional specialties based on her recipes, including shrimp in chipotle, garlic and piloncillo (an unrefined brown sugar) sauce and plantain fritters stuffed with crab.

During a weekday happy hour, or “hora feliz,” from 5 to 7 p.m., the restaurant also will offer $1 antojitos, or small dishes, and $4 cocktail and beer specials.

While in D.C., Ramirez also will lead a free cooking class at 10 a.m. Oct. 31 on the authentic flavors of Mexico, sponsored by Oyamel in partnership with the Mexican Cultural Institute. A tasting of Mexican dishes will follow.

The Mexican Cultural Institute is located at 2829 16th St. NW. Call Oyamel at 202-628-1005 to register for the class.