I had brunch at Anxo with my girlfriends Abby, Katie, and Kathy on 4-29-2017. It was a fun meal full of cider, pintxos, and a friendly staff in a very chill space.
Atmosphere: 4 out of 5
Food & Drink: 4 out of 5
The outdoor patio looks like a blast but it was unseasonably warm (90* in April) so we opted for the dining room. I definitely want to come back to check it out though.
The bright, airy dining room is actually upstairs while a bar occupies the first floor. I really liked the vibe: it was relaxed, laid back, and not obnoxiously crowded at noon on a Saturday, although it definitely was busy by the time we left.
There is a small bar on the second floor too. Being D.C.’s first cidery it’s not surprising there are 24 cider taps in addition to 12 beer taps. Up to this point Anxo had been making cider in collaboration with other cideries but the day after we were there they released their first cider entirely made by them. In the coming weeks they will be opening to the public the actual cidery where it’s made, which is in a separate location that includes a tasting room.
In addition to cider and beer the drink menu also featured wine and cocktails. They had a really cool thing called a porron, which was a cocktail in a funky glass bottle you pour right into your mouth. We didn’t order one so this actually belongs to the table next to us. I want to try this next time for sure.
I opted instead for a cider tasting flight, one of three they had on the menu. I like to try all the things, which is why we also ordered every pintxo on the menu.
Flight of the day (left to right):
Fuchshof Most -This was light, dry and a little sour, almost reminding me of lemonade.
Anxo/Eden Collaboration #4 – This was fuller bodied to the point of tasting like wine.
Pilton Somerset Keeved -This was sweeter and tasted what I think of when I think of cider.
Anxo/Shacksbury Collaboration #5 – This was the heaviest and had almost a bitter taste.
Snowdrift – Red. This rose cider was fantastic. It was a little on the sweet side but it tasted like strawberries with a light effervescent. It’d be great out on the patio on a hot day.
Croquetas de jamon. These were like cheesy mashed potato balls or really creamy risotto balls. That’s not exactly my fav consistency but my girlfriends liked them.
Eric Bordelet – Poire Authentique. This was a pear cider and it too was bright and fruity.
Left – Duck confit montadito (duck confit, balsamic reduction, guindilla). This was good: vinegary and savory with the most amazing little pickled pepper on top.
Right – Tortilla de patatas montadito (potato omelet, pan con tomate). The tomato was surprisingly good while the omelet sort of reminded me of tomago.
Gamba a la Rusa (shrimp, manzanilla olive, quail egg). This tasted exactly how it looks: egg, olive, shrimp with mayo.
Left – Gilda (manzanilla olive, guindilla pepper, anchovy). This was really good with the perfect combo of salt, vinegar, olive flavors.
Right – Pintxo choricito (choricito sausage, green onion, guindilla). This was mild and good, while once again that little pepper was fantastic.
Chilled asparagus soup (lumb crab meat, rhubarb). This was great. It had a very green, fresh taste too it with a bit of umami in the finish. I didn’t actually actually taste any crab meat but we shared so maybe others’ bites had it.
French horn montadito (french horn, shitake, espelette, sweet pepper, manchego). You could really taste the sweet pepper in this and then the more mild mushroom flavors. It reminded me of a portabello burger.
Boqueron montadito (white anchovy and salmon roe on grilled toast). This was vinegary and salty as expected but also a little sweet too. I liked it more than I thought I would.
Buñuelo de bacalao Vizcaína (salt cod fritter, salsa Vizcaína). This tasted similar to maybe a fish stick but with a much fluffier consistency than I expected. The topping, which I think was red pepper-based, was really good.
Choricitos a la sidra (chorizo, poached egg, potato, red pepper, tomato, paprika, sidra). This was like a potato and red pepper stew. The broth was delicious, the chorizo was really great, and the poached egg was fun too.
Rabas (battered, fried calamari wtih lemon). This might be the best fried calamari I’ve ever had. The batter was so super light and had almost a sweet flavor to it. I would definitely get this again.
Patatas bravas (fried potatoes with aioli, guindilla seca, paprika). I mean obviously we had to get the patatas bravas and they were delicious. They’re like a skillet potato with really good sauce, which was more aioli-based than I’d had in the past but good nonetheless.
Manchego (apricot jam). This was really good and I’d be tempted to come back just to taste all the snacks, cheeses, and charcuterie. I could have eaten a pound of the apricot jam.
Torrijas (Basque French toast, whipped cream, walnuts). This is made with homemade brioche and was super light and fluffy. It was drizzled with a fruit-based sauce that was a nice bright contrast to the typical french toast flavors.
Frittata de espinaca (goat cheese, spinach, roasted tomato, arugula). I liked this but with all the ingredients sitting on top of the eggs it reminded me more of an omelette than a frittat. The goat cheese was delicious and the arugula was a nice touch.
Hanger steak frites (french fries, tomato butter). The best part of this was hands down the tomato butter. I think perhaps it was supposed to go on top of the steak but I was just dipping the fries in it (a lot).
Top – Arroz con leche (rice, milk, cinnamon, orange zest). This creamy, milky deliciousness had just the right amount of cinnamon.
Bottom – Natillas de queso de cabra (goat cheese custard, candied walnuts). This was interesting since it’s goat cheese-based. It tasted like a lemony egg custard but with the texture of pureed potatoes. I liked the candied walnuts on top a lot.
At this point the Executive Chef Alex Vallcorba came out to chat and sign my guide. He was so friendly, telling us all about the next day’s release party for Anxo’s first cider solely produced by them. He was really welcoming and totally fit with the relaxed vibe of the place.
Overall this was a fun place for brunch where we got to taste so many different drinks and dishes. I want to come back sometime to sit on the patio, eat all the snacks, and try even more cider.