Cafe Linnea has yet to hold its grand opening; but, if a weekday lunch crowd during the soft-opening period is any indication, the lineups for the French-themed fare will reach Portlandia-like lengths.
(If you haven’t seen the Portlandia episode with the epic brunch lineups, you should).
Located next to the new Duchess Provisions in an airy industrial building, the skylight and picture windows bathe the diners in natural light. The industrial feel of the space is softened by the green decor. And, just based on the fact that the cafe is the newest member of the Duchess family, the buzz is there, even for a soft open.
And, while there are sweet treats on Cafe Linnea’s menu, the highlights are the hearty, comforting dishes. There are offerings on the menu that are anything but dainty; think hearty French country breakfast.
I opt for the Oeufs-en-Cocotte; the dish comes served in a black iron pot; inside, two baked eggs swim inside a glorious mushroom sauce that manages to have hints of earthiness and sweet at the same time. It’s very, very, rich, and you will need all of the sourdough toast that’s served on the side in order to soak up the last bits of the sauce. It’s elegant, yet rustic at the same time.
And it’s one reason why I expect this to be one of the hottest brunch spots in the city; it has to be – it’s not open for dinner.