After booking the flight and the hotel, we booked this brunch, and it was mentioned often as we talked about the trip. We were making a return trip to Echo & Rig Butcher and Steakhouse. Echo & Rig was the first establishment that we had been to, that besides being a restaurant, was also a butcher shop. Not the butcher shop of my youth, where you had to take a number and then get all of your meats wrapped in paper after he cut or sliced or ground your request. Here is a butcher shop that not only cuts the meat, they age the meats, and they make their own charcuterie. The butcher shop is on the main floor, opposite the bar, and the restaurant is upstairs that takes full advantage of their butcher shop. It was all the more enticing, because every morning, including the morning of our brunch there, that we would walk past the restaurant in the Tivoli Village complex as part of our daily 6K walk. I am also not the best photographer, so in case you can’t decipher the message that is emblazoned on their window, it is “A hot dog at the ballpark is better than steak at the Ritz.” – Humphrey Bogart
At least once a month since our last brunch at Echo & Rig, I was reminded how my Bride was looking forward to her Lemon, Ricotta and Blueberry pancakes. I had requested to be out on the verandah overlooking the fountain and the entrance to Tivoli Village. We were of course the first in line to get into the restaurant, as I guess we were rather anxious. We were taken upstairs and outside and we met our waiter, a little while later, another employee that was over the years our waitress and at a times the manager came over to greet us by name. Talk about getting a swelled head and feeling special. I had the Short Rib Hash, made of Prime Short Ribs, Yukon Gold Potatoes, Bell Peppers, Shallots with two poached eggs and Smoked Paprika Hollandaise Sauce. My Bride was crestfallen, because she even mentioned to our waiter that her favorite dish was not on the menu, so she had the Smoked Wild Salmon plate with Cream Cheese, sliced Tomatoes, Capers, Red Onions and a toasted Bagel. We also got a side order of the house made bacon, and we had both forgotten how great bacon could be, when it isn’t from a commercial package. I was later talking to the Manager while my Bride was away and lamented that her favorite dish was no longer on the menu. The manager was aghast and told me that the dish was on the menu, just written up differently and that our waiter should have realized it, especially after my Bride described it, so thoroughly. It hurt me to tell my Bride what I had discovered, but by then we were stuffed.
Our waiter also had a problem understanding what we meant, when we referred to their older way of touting their Mimosas as bottomless, as now their menu only lists Bottomless Handcrafted Bloody Mary. He told me that they usually just put a bottle of sparkling in an icer and bring over a carafe of fresh-squeezed orange juice, as he got flustered thinking that we may need additional Mimosas and he wasn’t prepared for that. The first time that we were there we had this wine, I had never heard of the wine that was being poured, but since then I have noticed other restaurants back home touting the same wine for their Mimosas. Wycliff Brut California Champagne is by the William Wycliff Winery which is under the umbrella of the Gallo Winery group. This screwcap bottle of sparkling wine is geared strictly to restaurants and catering companies, so that the consumer cannot check the retail price of the wine or buy it on their own. Since it is part of Gallo, I am sure that they have made sure that they were grandfathered in with the term “California Champagne.” This wine is made by the Charmat Method, which is a more economical way of producing a sparkling wine and since it was being mixed with orange juice, it was more than adequate. Traditionally the wine would be made with Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier and I will presume that all or part of those grapes are being used. All I can say is that it was a great way to start the day off. The only thing lacking was the screw cap, instead of the classic pop of a cork, but it was still a great way to start the day.