It was one of my favorite times of day… brunch time. And lord almighty did we need it today. After a night of celebrating the life of one of my favorite humans, I had realized that although my arcade skills are very much in tact, my drinking skills are not. My body needed something of substance, my skin needed vitamin D and my soul needed food lathered in love. Alas, the group decided to swim across the struggle puddle and reconvene somewhere none of us had ever been… IDA CLAIRE.
Now, let me start off by saying I would consider myself a brunch connoisseur, a professional in all aspects breakfast-lunch. I’ve had my fair share of experiences and only a handful of times have I been in concept-awe. As soon as we stepped foot into this trinket haven, I was stoked. Everywhere I looked there was some clever detail that would catch my eye. Think organic southern high-class bohemian. Visual translation: Anthropology meets Stevie nicks while she holds hands with Miss Savannah, Georgia.
I had arrived with my best guy friend Zac, whom was completely unamused by my high-energy wonder at such an early hour. Yet, when we decided to grab a table on the patio, his true colors shown through a satisfied smile as he stated his appreciation for such a beautiful place on such a substantial day. The mix of vintage patio sets, a decked out airstream (perfect for a date night dinner) and wild metal umbrellas led for a picture perfect setting.
“Feel it Still” by Portugal, the Man filled my ears while I checked out the book inspired cocktail menu. Hair of the dog, as they say! Our server Ryan then informed me they have their own house gin and I was immediately drawn to the “pearfect” (gin, spiced pear juice, honey, lemon juice & rose). This drink did not disappoint as it’s sweet, yet subtle pear flavor and mimosa like flair contented my thirst. I could begin to feel my sanity slowly seep back into my body. Relaxation station baby.
As we awaited our other friends arrival, we decided to order a couple appetizers.
Crawfish Corn Beignets with smoked mustard remoulade and Idas Biscuits.
I thought I was blown away by the looks of this place, but within the first bite it stole my heart through my stomach. Our server had explained the innovative twist on classic southern food concept, but this had surpassed anything I was expecting.
Crisp hushpuppy like exterior with a moist stuffing full of creole corn and chunky morsels of crawfish…. yup. It was as if the smoked mustard remoulade had met the crawfish beignet on the streets of New Orleans itself. Such a beautiful, savory partnership.
Mini biscuits accompanied with peppered bacon gravy, house jam and savory butter…. yup. I close my eyes and can taste the hospitality. You know when you want to sit and savor the sweetness from real butter in a biscuit? This was one of those beautiful times. We demolished them almost instantaneously.
Encore. More. Thank goodness our friends arrived shortly and more appetizers hit our table fulfilling our anticipation to share what we had just tasted.
We decided to go with the beignets again and invited a new dish as well. Joining the festivities was their Sweet Potato Chip Duck Confit. Think sweet potato nachos… except instead of your basic cheese and jalapeños, this creation is topped with a goat cheese fondue, duck fat gravy and a sunny side up egg. The key is to break the yolk so on top so each ingredient contributes to the pallet, creating a trifecta of edible harmony. Trust me, you won’t regret it and if you do you’re wrong.
After the other drinks arrived, and the appreciation for these appetizers was synonymous, we were on to the mains. I went for the Nashville Hot Chicken.
Crispy spicy chicken tenders on pimento toast with a cast iron okra salad. Yes, it tasted as good as it looks. The perfect amount of increasing spice easily tamed by the soothing calm of homestyle pimento. Pickles rounded out the acidity levels creating a nice balance. I didn’t get to eat much of the okra salad due to my stomach now being 200% full, but what I did manage to snack on was fresh and lovely.
After a touch more harassment and a couple shots of tequila, it was time for us to continue on the days activities. Checks were brought out on these adorable passport like booklets with notes from prior customers written between the pages.
I wrote a note while everyone closed out, bidding adieu to Ryan, the server whose excellent menu knowledge was on par with his customer service and quick wit. And with that we were off, stumbling out a bit more gracefully than we stumbled in.
There are some places that just make sense and are bound together with every molecule in it’s being. I would have to say Ida Claire is a great example of one of those places. With events such as Vinyl Night and Tiki Parties, it’s no surprise why everyone’s buzzing about Ida. I can’t wait to return and explore what else this little gem has to offer!
Until then, I thank you for a lovely experience Miss Ida Claire. I’ll be seeing you soon.
Love & Light,