While the muddy hipsters have their fun at Free Press Summer Fest this weekend, and while the urban pioneers cruise up and down Washington Avenue for the Sunday Streets event that will close Washington to vehicular traffic from Studemont all the way downtown to Market Square Park, you can relax indoors, away from the heat and the crowds, enjoying a meal at one of the city's best new restaurants—and you won't have to wait for a table.
3320 White Oak Dr.
It turns out the best time to dine at Coltivare, the recently opened bistro from Revival Market co-owners Morgan Weber and Ryan Pera, is during the Saturday- and Sunday-only lunch service. Both Pera and Weber tell me these weekend lunch services are the restaurant's quietest times. Sure, the patio may fill up on nice days, but the cool interior—with its views of the open kitchen and sunny bay windows—is typically wide open.
The lunch menu—which is served from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on weekends—is an abbreviated version of the nightly dinner menu. You'll find some of the restaurant's best dishes, such as peas straight from Coltivare's own garden served in a simple salad with fresh mint, prosciutto, horseradish, and arugula; spicy chicken wings in a chile-lemon-basil marinade; and an assortment of pickled vegetables (again, fresh from Coltivare's attached garden). There are five pizzas, including one brunch-appropriate option called the "Bacon & Eggs," with pancetta, taleggio cheese, potatoes, 1015 sweet onions, and a fried yard egg.
You'll also find a few items that aren't on the dinner menu, like a cheeseburger made with ground beef from Augusta Ranch, fontina cheese, and pickled onions, and a wood-grilled chicken sandwich. And that burger, if you ask me, is even more reason to visit at lunch. Sure, Coltivare is always worth the wait—but it's even more enjoyable when you don't have to.