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Brothers and Sisters’ Rebooted (And More Readable) Menu Encourages Sharing

The evolving Line hotel restaurant also has more vegan and vegetarian options in the mix

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A bone-in ribeye with wild mushroom butter ($50).
Foreign National [Brothers and Sisters]
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

A year and a half after local restaurateur Erik Bruner-Yang’s all-day restaurant and bar Brothers and Sisters debuted inside Adams Morgan’s Line hotel, the adventurous lobby-level respite just retooled its menu and format to appease more palates and preferences.

The inaugural menu read backwards, presenting a list of globally inspired items arranged to read from right to left. That visual culture shock was deliberate, in attempt to take diners around the world through its ingredients and culinary techniques.

“We wanted a menu that could change a bit more and be flexible,” chef Sam Adkins tells Eater. “The new menu also enables us to use more local food and work more with the seasons than we have in the past.”

Now its flow is more straightforward and traditional, opening with snacks, toasts, salads and sides, followed by more pastas and surf and turf selections this time around, and hit cakes and frozen treat finales from talented pastry chef Pichet Ong. The new single-page lunch and dinner menu, which went live in June, also bulked up on its vegan and vegetarian options (so long, “hoctodog” with roasted octopus on a potato hot dog bun).

“We wanted to give everyone a choice,” says Adkins. “As far as the taste and composition of individual dishes, I wanted to have clean and direct flavors.”

Uni, salmon and trout roe toasts are built on Breadfurst bread at Brothers and Sisters.
Foreign National [Brothers and Sisters]
Mixologist Todd Thrasher (Tiki TNT, PX) created a summertime lineup of “It’s My Jam” and “Naked and Famous” cocktails.
Foreign National [Brothers and Sisters]

There’s now more sharable entrees in the mix, like a massive ribeye.

“You can only cook a ribeye correctly if it’s big and I wanted to give a group a chance to enjoy it without having to go to a steak house and spend an arm and a leg on it by themselves,” he says.

The Line gets fresh udon noodles from a local Japanese importer, and Adkins knew “I just had to use them in something.”

The new pasta order’s inspiration stems from a traditional Japanese recipe that relies on thickened cream, mentaiko and kewpie mayo, we well as a cacio e pepe dish Brothers and Sisters served when it first opened.

“The dish is a kind of mixture between the two,” he says.

Udon noodles join XO sauce, mentaiko, and crème fraîche.
Foreign National [Brothers and Sisters]

A handful of existing items made the cut in the new go-around, including the Caesar salad, tuna crudo with coconut vinaigrette, fried Brussels sprouts with urfa ranch dressing, and raw oysters.

“These were customer favorites that we all liked a lot as well. Plus, they fit well in the new format,” he says.

The knife cut noodles also stayed put, but now they’re joined by chicken, Thai basil, and peanut (the carb concoction was formerly layered with fennel-spiked sausage and broccoli rabe).

The burger also stuck around.

“I think that having a great burger is a must in a great hotel like The Line,” he says.

A dry-aged beef burger with hoisin, pork belly, and egg.
Foreign National [Brothers and Sisters]

The new format is here to stay, he notes, with fall flavors expected to come online in a few months.

“The toasts should be fun to play with as well as switching some of the fish and vegetable sides,” he says.

Meanwhile, Bruner-Yang’s intimate, grill-centric restaurant Spoken English also at the Line just picked up the 2019 Rammys Award for New Restaurant of the Year.