It only takes one inaugural brunch at Queen Anne’s Lloyd Martin to know it is a winner.
It all started with the memorable Iberico pork cheeks I had at Lloyd for dinner on Tuesday night. The piggy’s cheeks were so tender you could use a plastic fork to pull it apart, but this is a classy joint so I just used their cutlery.
In addition to the standout dish, the tight knit staff, size and restaurant layout conveys an heir of a neighborhood restaurant every community should have.
One of my first observations is that regardless of where you sit, you can pretty much see the entire restaurant in plain sight. And on future visits, the same staff will greet you. Ashley holds down the fort at the front of the house while Tyler and Jerry tend to the bar. The two chefs cook in an open kitchen that is one of the smallest kitchens I have seen since Elemental disbanded.
After finishing up dinner, I could not wait to check out their new Sunday brunch service.
In only their third week of brunch service, we walk into a full house at the petite dark wooded restaurant and quickly decide the best Sunday appetizer is a spicy Bloody Mary. This one comes with sweet heirloom tomatoes and pickled green beans.
After quenching our thirst, it is a quandary deciding what to gnaw on. The bacon waffle with bourbon maple syrup and the buttermilk biscuits with sausage gravy seem to be churning out in high quantity. But the soft scrambled eggs served on an open face croissant and topped with chives and bejeweled with a heap of chanterelle mushrooms wins over my husband.
Big bonus: As stated on the menu, the dish is served with “LM potatoes” which initially seems slightly pretentious. I am feeling cheeky and thinking maybe I should start labeling everything, too: RWJ’s iPhone, RWJ’s crumbs, RWJ’s yoga mat. But after I take a bite, I immediately jump on the bandwagon. LM should damn well trademark their potatoes.
Each layer is neatly stacked on top of one another like a lasagna, achieving the perfect balance between crispy and creamy. The potato layer cake strategically retains its heat as if knowing you need time to finish eating your eggs first.
Not into traditional brunch? Ya, me neither. Lloyd Martin has you covered with a menu that straddles both breakfast and lunch with items such as the short rib brioche bun, the albacore crudo, and cavatelli mac and cheese.
Finally, a restaurant with a true “Cheers” feel that cranks out more than standard diner fare. Meat lovin’ fools will trip all over themselves at this place.
Oh, and who or what is Lloyd Martin, everyone asks? As a tribute to the owner’s two grandfathers, the catchy “Lloyd Martin” bears their first names. How is that for respect?
- You can roll the dice, but I would make a reservation. In only its third week of serving brunch, they have a packed house.
- Get boozy. Bartenders Tyler and Jerry are exceptional. I am planning on going back for the blackberry shrub (vodka, lemon, canton, and cava) and the ramos gin fizz (egg white, lemon, orange blossom, vanilla).
- Conclude your meal with an espresso. Hart Coffee owner makes an appearance every Sunday by bringing his beans and brewing up each cup himself. You are in for a treat.