It is the best of meals. It is the worst of meals.

Do people in D.C. go to brunch? Are there excellent brunch spots in D.C.? I had a blt with tater tots once at noon on a Saturday at Tonic in Mount Pleasant. And I waited for the Tabard Inn in Dupont to begin seating one packed Sunday–I later ate one fresh-baked donut and took my entire very rich meal home in a box. I’ve heard about the drag brunch at Perry’s in Adams Morgan. So, I admit my brunch experience in D.C. is limited…

…But in NYC, brunch is a religion that I enthusiastically practice with the masses. This means that places known as great brunch spots are packed on weekends. And as a seasoned bruncher and a believer in the Whole Restaurant Experience–If I must wait in line and can’t hear my friends talking to me from across the table, the brunch is not a success–I have a tip that may alter the way you game plan your weekend eating. (And I’ll tell who already knows this tip: celebrities.)

Restaurants that are great for dinner might secretly be excellent places for brunch. So, Wallse, an Austrian in the West Village, was my favorite restaurant in NYC for years. I love it for dinner, and all the things that make it great for that meal are there at brunch, at a discount, and you can probably walk in without a reservation.

Employees Only, a trendy night spot–a bar with great food–used to have a lovely brunch and, necessarily, out of this world brunch cocktails. (Try this in the summer: A bourbon served in a tall glass filled with ice and water to the top. I call it Southern Iced Tea.) EO also has an enchanting back garden, hugely popular at night, but mid-day on a weekend it might just be you and Susan Sarandon. It was always that empty when I’d go, which explains why brunch seems to have been discontinued.

I’ve been reading about Colicchio and Sons in Chelsea for a year now. I finally made it for brunch, which was not too crowded and not too expensive, while the menu was spot on, the food wonderful, service top notch, and the dining room (tap room) could have been charging $$ rates for us just to sit there, as it does at the dinner hour.

That’s what you get when you go for brunch at a swanky dinner place: a rich experience at half the price.

I applaud the short, majority-savory menu. We had frittata with with salad drizzled with honey and a taleggio, ham, and leek pizza. The casual, yet chic, front dining room is a place I could happily spend hours quietly chatting with friends, slurping down very potent Bloody Mary’s, and ogling the gossip girls at then next table.

This entry was posted in DC Scene, New York, Restaurant Reviews and tagged .

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