There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
The Dish: Fricassee of Maryland farmed mushrooms with rye toast (available during weekend brunch from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.)
What It Is: There’s africassee on Nina May’s brunch menu that’s a must-order for mushroom lovers—but what’s a fricassee, you ask? According to chef Colin McClimans, it’s a French cooking technique, somewhere between a sauté and a stew, that’s typically reserved for chicken. Instead of poultry, McClimans created a savory dish using king mushrooms from Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
“I wanted to do a vegetarian dish, but one of the things I love about cooking is that sometimes the final product is completely different than what you originally planned,” he says. So, rather than a traditional French fricassee, his Maryland-farmed mushrooms with rye toast actually tastes more like a pastrami hash that you might order at a greasy spoon.
How It Tastes: “We decided to experiment in the flavor profile of a pastrami sandwich—something very savory but with hints of acid,” McClimans says. Pickled chilies, red onions, and sauerkraut deliver the heat and acidity. Meanwhile, it’s the smoked and cooked-down mushrooms, as well some creamy cauliflower-pastrami fondue, that add savory qualities to the dish.
Why It Helps: When a real hangover hits, it’s this mushroom toast that your body needs to satisfy a stomach that wants some greasy food, but a body that needs the nourishment of some veggies and ‘shrooms.