Food & Wine

Bacon and Pumpkin Bread Pudding French Toast Brunch at Orlean Market

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I still have yet to find a place that does soup or a BLT as amazing as chef Nick Forlano at Forlano’s Market. The restaurant closed, so when I got word that Chef Forlano was cooking for Orlean Market in kind of a middle-of-nowhere-Virginia it was worth an outing.

Orlean Market Virginia exterior

I couldn’t get free in time for his dinner specials, but some friends and I headed out there for a Sunday brunch.  The menu sounded fantastic, if a little expensive. For $45 per person you got your choice of craft beverage, yummy starter, entree, and dessert. I saw bacon, soup, and other tasty options and was in.

Orlean Market Virginia Forlano brunch menu

I wound up ordering the mimosa, though I was intrigued by the IPA based bloody mary. The basket of breakfast breads was kind of fun, berry scones and a variety of different flavored muffins. I think mine was jalepeno cheese.

Orlean Market Virginia forlano breakfast bread

I’m always tempted by housemade charcuterie, but lucked out with my choice. The curried apple & butternut squash bisque was the standout. Chef Forlano knows how to make amazing soups!Orlean Market Virginia Curried Applel and Butternut Squash Soup

We split the Pumpkin Bread Pudding French Toast and the Andouille sausage hash. I love pumpkin bread but not a huge fan of french toast, this hit the right balance erring on the side of bread pudding consistency and with only a touch of sweetness. Plus, anytime you add bacon…

Orlean Market Virginia Pumpkin Bread Pudding French Toast Bacon

The Andouille sausage with poached eggs was good, but not amazing. But as one of my friends put it, it’s hard to glamorize traditional brunch fare.

my half portion

my half portion

The dessert of poached figs and fresh ricotta was good, but strange. There were a lot of figs (yay!) but the texture with the ricotta was odd and the olive oil drizzled on top worked well but still made for an unusual flavor.

Orlean Market Virginia Poached Fig Ricotta

The restaurant itself has a fun ambience with dining tables in multiple rooms and an old fashioned decor that works. The service was a little slow, as if they’re still working out some issues.

Orlean Market Virginia decor

The food was good, but not worth a trek just for brunch unless you’re in the area. I’d definitely go back to try dinner though.

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