Firefly Kitchen+Bar brings a heightened dining experience to comfort food such as in their thyme scented with jalapeño honey butter Chicken & Waffles, and the ir Smoking Carrot cocktail. (Photo by Micha Green)

By Micha Green
AFRO D.C. Editor
mgreen@afro.com

This reporter was invited to a media brunch at the newly revamped Firefly Kitchen+Bar in Washington, D.C.’s Dupont Circle, and as an avid brunch lover I was ecstatic, but as a germaphobe I had major hesitations.  

One gander at the brunch menu and I had to check out the hoopla.  I’ll give you readers a feel for what titillated my taste buds simply by reading the menu: Smoked Salmon Bagel, Chicken & Waffles, and though I can’t eat either due to a nut allergy and not eating pork-PB&J Stuffed Brioche French Toast and Kimchi Pork Hash.

I loved their heightened take on classic comfort dishes such as a peanut and butter jelly sandwich, a remix of French toast itself with Brioche bread, a change of chicken and waffles adding a twist with thyme and and the kimchi to a generally southern pork hash.

I decided to go for a Saturday afternoon brunch and was pleasantly surprised by the decor of the restaurant, where guests were greeted with a hand sanitizing machine and the COVID-safe unseated bar as the establishment’s centerpiece.

I chose to sit in a secluded area with couches and low tables.  The hosts and manager warned me of the low table, but I chose seclusion from germs and people over eating comfort- a decision I’m still happy I made. 

The vibe was incredible.  The sun was shining through the large windows and modern decor on the comfy couch made for an enjoyable time to safely catch up with a friend.

The server started brunch with a round of the restaurant’s specialty “Smoking Carrot” cocktail.  Firefly’s manager said that the cocktail programming is a new push with this iteration of the restaurant, and they did not disappoint.  The “Smoking Carrot,” cocktail includes: “Banhez mezcal, carrot juice, ginger simple syrup, avocado foam rainbow carrot,” according to the Firefly menu.

After sipping on the cocktails for a few minutes, brunch was served- and it was a lot of food.

I got the Chicken & Waffles, which were phenomenal.  Most of the time, I try to live as a pescatarian (eating no other meat than fish), but the description on those Chicken & Waffles made me have a bit of a cheat meal.  The ingredients in Firefly’s Chicken & Waffles included: crispy chicken, a thyme scented waffle, jalapeño honey butter and local maple syrup.  Let me tell you, every single one of those flavors were all up in that dish.  Who knew thyme scented waffles were a thing?  The thyme was such a subtle, pleasant touch, with the slight spicy kick from the jalapeño honey butter and the sweetness of the local maple syrup that added to the savory nature of the crispy chicken. It was mouth watering to look at and smell.  It was delicious going down, and while I normally don’t do this at media outings, I even asked for a to-go box.  It was that good.  

Many might say it’s kind of hard to mess up fried chicken and waffles, it’s a classic dish most people who work in a kitchen should know.  I get it.  However the creative take on the classic dish is what made the dining experience that much more enjoyable.  It was what I was expecting and more. I clearly tasted each and every ingredient, but it wasn’t overwhelming and perfectly meshed to make an enjoyable dish and dining experience.

As I am a major advocate for safety during a pandemic would I say it’s important to run to Firefly Kitchen+Bar?  No.  Everything was quite yummy, and the inside decor was nice and felt COVID-19 aware, however safety first.  Some of the dining areas were a little too close for my comfort as a major germaphobe, even though it was fairly spaced out, and everyone dining in the closer shared spaces looked as if they were having a great time.  

That said, Firefly also has a takeout menu on their website and with the tasty finds on their menu, I can imagine one enjoying the delicious food from the comfort of their own home even more.  

If you’re in the mood for a good cocktail, on the other hand, go ahead and give Firefly a shot.  I loved their take on a Brunch Cocktail.  While there was definitely mezcal in the drink, the fresh vegetable and fruit juices made the drink almost seem healthy going down.  It was quite tasty and not overwhelming for an afternoon adult beverage. 

For more information for Firefly Kitchen+Bar visit https://www.firefly-dc.com.

 

Micha Green

AFRO Washington, D.C. Editor