The Brunch Dish: Death by Uovo at Davanti Enoteca
Here's a great way to confit your digestive tract: order way too much food at Davanti Enoteca and regret it later when you're trying to have a productive rest of your day. As crippling as brunch at Davanti Enoteca may be, it's worth every lingering ache. Revered for its rustic Italian dinner fare, this place makes a strong case for Italian brunch as the most decadent, irresistible weekend fare in town. There's just something about that truffle egg toast that captivates more than a crystal ball.
Let's start with that truffle egg toast, aka uovo tartufati ($11). This dish has long been one of the more popular dinner items at Davanti, but when you think about it, it makes the perfect brunch item in that it is essentially a ridiculously extravagant rendition of toad in the hole. Pieces of bread as thick as cake wedges are baked with fontina— and truffle oil—laden eggs in the center until everything softens and becomes an embarrassment of gooey richness. I think the last time I enjoyed something this gooey and cheesy, I was a kid eating Chuck E. Cheese pizza. Since adults aren't allowed at Chuck E. Cheese without kids (appalling, right?), I'm glad I have another outlet to satiate my gooey desires. It's all served with a smattering of asparagus slivers in an attempt to make you feel healthy. Lol.
Because brunch demands bread in heinous portions, you'd be remiss in not ordering the sheet pan-sized platter of focaccia di Recco ($17, plus $2 with honeycomb), another dinner item staple that is right at home on the brunch table. This is Ligurian-style focaccia, which differs from the fluffy rosemary-scented stuff I bake for myself and eat for dinner in the judgement-free solace of my apartment. Rather, Davanti's is crispy and flaky, like a buttery phyllo, striated with soft cow's milk cheese and optionally adjoined by a dollop of honeycomb. It's the perfect marriage of sweet meets savory, single-handedly bridging the gap between the two brunch realms.
Self-restraint spirals out of control as you move on to the uovo (eggs fyi) section. Uovo con polenta ($12) takes the simple idea of eggs and polenta and amps it up to artery-ravaging proportions by adding goat cheese fonduta to the mix. Braised mushrooms add a savory pop, juxtaposed by a little sweetness from roasted tomatoes. Uova Amatriciana al forno ($10) is about as hearty and rustic as it gets, a medley of baked eggs, tomatoes, and guanciale served with a pile of grilled bread, which makes the average plate of toast look like a complete joke. In case you're not having enough trouble breathing yet, the biscotto con sugo ($5) is an apt side dish. A dreamy marriage of Italian flavors and American traditions combine for this prosciutto-adorned riff on biscuits and gravy.
After a meal like this, you're inevitably going to be reeling for a bit. But like the most delicious kind of masochism, brunch at Davanti Enoteca is worth the pang.