Verbena's Best New Brunch Dishes

By Tamara Palmer | April 15, 2014 By Tamara Palmer  |  April 15, 2014
Photo by: Tamara Palmer

Five-month-old Russian Hill newcomer Verbena recently debuted weekend brunch service. The menu includes thoughtful and playful items that meet the high bar that chef Sean Baker has already set during the dinner hour and at his first restaurant, Gather, in Berkeley. While brunch reservations are recommended, half of the dining room is reserved for walk-ins, encouraging the neighborhood and other regulars to drop in on a whim. Now it's time for a look at the highlights, like sourdough pancakes and poached eggs with duck confit, all available at a price point that stays well under $20 per dish. 

  • Photo by: Tamara Palmer

    Baker's wife shared her recipe for chocolate granola with cacao nibs, flax seed, chia seed, rolled oats and more. It's served with strawberry slices in a shallow pool of banana nut milk made with fried almonds. Granola isn't normally a good share plate, but this is a good starter for the whole table to try.

  • Photo by: Tamara Palmer

    Perky poached eggs come with ragout of braised duck. Chard, hominy and a pickled tomato sauce also decorate the plate.

  • Photo by: Tamara Palmer

    Brunch-focused cocktails include the Verbena Mimosa with Cocchi Americano, Prosecco, orange juice and bitters; the Emerald Remedy #2 with Gin, Pimm's, Chartreuse, celery and lemon; and a Bloody Mary with vodka, tomato, carrot, zingy pepper vinegar and a dash of garum spice.

  • Photo by: Tamara Palmer

    Here's one you don't see every day: the restaurant is aging boar and marinating it in koji (fermented rice spores). It's a super-fresh take on grilled pork and fried eggs.

  • Photo by: Tamara Palmer

    The pork dish is served with crushed crispy potatoes seasoned with housemade Old Bay and nori, which is also available as a side dish. We recommend you get these spuds on your table one way or another. 

  • Photo by: Tamara Palmer

    Sourdough pancakes are served with a drizzle of ultrapremium maple syrup infused with liquid from Verbena's Blenheim apricot preserves and a pat of carrot-nasturtium butter.

  • Photo by: Tamara Palmer

    A few notable items from the dinner menu are also available at brunch. Baker makes the beet sauerkraut and chèvre that come with this chewy-crunchy sprouted-seed bread. The texture is truly awesome. 

Places Mentioned

Write a review

Reverb Kitchen & Bar

New American Russian Hill
Food25 Decor24 Service23 Cost$55
Write a review


Californian Berkeley
Food21 Decor21 Service21 Cost$39

Recommended on Zagat

comments powered by Disqus