If the crazy lineup outside of Sleepy Bee every weekend tells us one thing, it’s this: There’s some pent-up demand for brunch in Oakley. And Oakley Wines owner Zach Eidson is more than happy to oblige.
Eidson’s east side shop is already a great place to top up your weekly wine stash. And with last fall’s addition of The Cellar at Oakley Wines, you can head underground any night of the week for a glass of vino, beer, or an excellent craft cocktail from Eidson’s talented bar staff. And now there’s brunch.
Eidson is an industry pro—he’s worked with chefs Jean-Robert de Cavel and David Falk, among others—so we knew we could expect a solid menu of moderately fancy breakfast classics. But we also found that the subterranean Cellar at Oakley Wines is a pretty ideal brunch venue for those of us trying to ease into the weekend: It’s quiet, dimly lit, and thoroughly chill. You can’t sit outside, but you don’t have to look at each other in the cold light of day, either. And it’s affordable: No single item costs more than $8.
As for the food, every menu item was a hit. The Bloody Mary is simple but not simplistic: The celery-infused vodka keeps it from tasting too tomato-ey, and it has a spicy kick that will wake you and your sinuses right up. The Belgian Waffle is both fluffy and crusty, and the Ham and Gruyere on Croissant is basically a spruced up grilled ham and cheese, which is all we ever want in this waking life.
The sleeper favorite was Lainey P’s Casserole. We don’t know who you are, Lainey P., but you know your way around a casserole. (And if the word “casserole” conjures images of crushed up tortilla chips, then it may be helpful for you to think of this dish more as a filling-but-elegant breakfast souffle.)
Clocking in at like two or three inches tall, it’s packed with rice, egg, cheese, sausage, and a spicy sauce that we’ll be thinking about until the next wine tasting.
The Cellar at Oakley Wines, 4011 Alston St., Oakley, (513) 531-1400, oakleywines.com