Brunch Brag: Copper Vine

I never thought I would strike it rich being a food writer, but it is undeniably fun and I’m often afforded tasty perks. This was one of those times . . .

Since it opened five years ago, Copper Vine has steadfastly remained on my rec list for diners looking for the perfect lunch spot in the CBD. Even through a change in chefs — Amy Mehrtens is the current spot of brilliance in their kitchen — the Poydras Street restaurant delivers consistently fantastic eats.

About a week ago, they invited me to stop by for brunch to check out some new dishes on the menu. John and I most happily obliged.

It was a blessedly breezy day, so we opted to sit outside on their patio festooned with palms, ferns and other green growing things, making it shady and peaceful, successfully blocking traffic noise bustling by. Our server Bryan (I hope I spelled it right!) was patient and bubbly, and we knew from the get-go it would be a great visit.

We started with a creamy cappuccino brewed with French Truck beans and before we were two sips in, our shared dish arrived. John tends to eat pretty much anything I want to order, so we split a salad filled with tender, tangy golden and red beets tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette with smashed cucumbers and avocado, and topped with large crumbles of salty feta cheese and roasted pepitas. Our forks couldn’t shovel it in fast enough!

John and I both selected dishes recommended by Bryan, and were rewarded for our trust. We had hefty bites from one other’s plates and I honestly can’t tell you which one I liked more, both were infinitely gobble-able. John went savory with a lump crabcake “Benedict” with poached eggs and buttery Hollandaise. The crab-heavy cakes played the protein and carb roles well, but the crispy, garlicky marble potato side was the clear star of the show.

Most Saturday mornings John will make me pancakes, so I stayed sweet with Copper Vine’s fritter French toast — more specifically, a sourdough bread pudding dipped in a doughnut batter and deep fried. The bread pudding base was full of berries, and after it was deep fried and topped with globs of creamy, buttery brie and a cane syrup drizzle, I felt like I was eating a fabulously-fruity version of a Monte Cristo. I loved it, but I had a difficult time finishing it, so John graciously took one for the team.

The restaurant and courtyard gradually filled with diners, all enjoying themselves as much as we did. It made me happy to know they’re doing so well, even expanding their space to become Copper Vine Wine Pub & Inn. I look forward to seeing it evolve and grow . . . especially the menu!

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