D.C.’s brunch scene is definitely no joke – from bottomless feasts, chef driven destinations, endless drinks, and everything in between, you can find just about anything you want. However, not all brunches are created equal and there comes a day when it’s not just about the bottomless mimosas. For those times when you want an elegant and luxurious take on brunch classics, here’s where to find the best upscale brunches in the city. These spots offer a little something extra and are absolutely worth the splurge.
Housed in the historic Jefferson Hotel, The Greenhouse’s atmosphere will transport you to the luxurious side from the minute you step inside and under the skylight. While the interiors are eye catching on their own, the luxurious plates give you plenty more to ogle at. The caviar and poached egg parfait is one of the most decadent (and delicious) items on the menu and is the perfect start to brunch, definitely worth the splurge. But even the brunch classics are stepped up several notches. Take the avocado toast, which comes with cream cheese, gruyere and perfectly soft poached eggs on multigrain toast, or the lobster eggs Benedict, which has chunky sweet Maine lobster that elevates this brunch staple. Even the hash browns include dried beef, bresaola and a nice touch of gruyere. On the sweeter side, the lemon ricotta pancakes - short or tall stack of malted pancakes with ricotta and lemon zest syrup are a favorite. Their exclusive champagne list with some of the best makers is the perfect accompaniment to the elegant atmosphere, delightful food from the Michelin kitchen, and an overall 100 percent incredible brunch experience.
A mainstay in the breakfast and brunch scene in the city, Blue Duck Tavern’s brunch menu is extensive and includes a wide variety of starters, sides, and main dishes. Of course, their wood oven roasted bone marrow makes for a magnificent start, but with options like short rib hash, custom omelets, jumbo lump crab cakes, gingerbread waffles, the choices are endless. Blue Duck Tavern is always a strong choice for a fancy meal in the city, but their weekend brunch truly has every delicious brunch dish you could want. The setting of the hotel restaurant is modern but elegant, and works for couples, smaller groups, or even a large party.
Sitting by the window overlooking the waterfront at Osteria Morini is the perfect setting to relax for a nice brunch. At this Italian restaurant in the Navy Yard, there are a range of breakfast options, house made pastas, and main course items as well. Depending on how hungry you are, the two course or three course options are a great deal. Get a bottle of prosecco and the pastry basket to start which includes an assortment of danishes, croissants, scones and more. I am a huge fan of their house made pastas which are a great alternative from the typical egg dishes found at brunch. For something heartier, the stracotto, a dish that combines braised shortrib, polenta, calabrian chili hollandaise, and a perfectly fried egg is delicious.
The beautiful restaurant on the Georgetown waterfront offers an elegant brunch that fits in perfectly with its prime spot and the spectacular views. The raw bar dishes are a great start – the various priced options include oysters, prawns, langoustine, tuna tartare, and even live sea scallops and caviar for the high end platters. These are complemented with seafood dishes such as the Maine lobster ravioli or a lobster Panini, and more brunch food like a Benedict, wild mushroom omelette, and pancakes. There are various price points and options for dining in a group – make a reservation and be prepared to splurge. Whatever you end up eating, save room for dessert and get an order of the bombolini- Sardinian style ricotta doughnuts served with fudge sauce and gelato.
At this beautiful Wharf restaurant, brunch comes with sweeping views of the Potomac River waterfront. The upscale menu features a contemporary twist on French fare, and brunch includes items such as a Comte omelet with herb butter, croissant Benedict, and a pancake soufflé with bananas foster and whipped mascarpone. Their escargot croissants, which are popular on the dinner menu are also available at brunch, as is a good selection of cheeses, appetizer plates, and of course, a great wine selection. Come warmer weather, Requin’s patio is likely to be the coveted spot.
At this contemporary dining room at the Hay Adams, Sunday brunch is priced at $90 per person and begins with a spread of appetizers and salads, which change seasonally. It’s easy to fill up here, but when the next courses include dishes such as a lobster Omelette with white beech and shiitake mushrooms, fried chicken with brown butter emulsion and cheddar cheese buttermilk biscuits, Black Angus steak, and pasta – this is a brunch spread worth every penny (and calorie). The meal is complemented with either a glass of classic Taittinger Brut Champagne, a classic Bloody Mary or a Strawberry Orange Mimosa. Of course, the dessert display is the perfect end to this enjoyable feast.