Last week, I was greeted by horses when I got off the Gallery Place metro to go to work. When I ran out to grab lunch, I was dodging (and admittedly admiring) the street performers congregating on the corner. On my walk to happy hour, I was held up by the presidential motorcade. Point being, Gallery Place is bumpin’ these days.
During the work week, I rarely have time to venture off the beaten path, i.e. to the other side of Verizon Center. So, when Bar Deco invited us to come in for brunch, I couldn’t believe the 6th street restaurant was just a stone’s throw away from my office. What a hidden gem.
Bar Deco was once an old nightclub, before it was completely gutted and transformed into a multi-level dining experience. We arrived on a Saturday morning with two of our good friends, McKenzie and Danny, and were seated at a beautiful, cozy farm table by the windows on the second floor. There were bottles of Moet chilling on ice and recycled whiskey bottles filled with water next to potted orchids. As I’ve mentioned before, lately, our group needs a warm-up before diving head first into a boozy brunch, so we ordered a round of coffee and caught up on the previous night’s shenanigans.
Our server was outstanding. He was attentive and knowledgeable, without being overbearing. He immediately disclosed some of his favorite menu items and shared that “Chef is a huge bacon fan,” so we should sample anything with bacon on the menu. We were easily sold.
We started off with an amuse-bouche, which was essentially a flattened mini glazed donut, topped off with salty prosciutto. It was the perfect combination of salty and sweet, however we later learned the dish isn’t offered on the menu. When we met the chef, we recommended he consider adding it to the menu.
Finally ready, McKenzie and I decided to have a mimosa. Starving, we proceeded to order almost one of everything on the menu—the fried chicken, which we learned was prepared gluten-free (bonus points!) and waffles was calling our name. The bacon air lobster souffle sounded decadent. And the Deco Benedict came highly recommended. We ordered all three to share, plus the shrimp and grits, and the ground beef sliders, because, we’re worth it.
The chicken and waffles were heavenly. Crispy, perfectly cooked chicken and fluffy, not dry, waffles, accompanied with house-made whipped butter and drizzled with sweet Jalapeno jam. It was placed next to me and I was reluctant to pass it around.
Also, can we talk about the soundtrack? It was outstanding! I was with a group of friends that have an eclectic taste in music and we loved (and took note) of almost every song that came on – from Passion Pit to Stevie Wonder. Music creates an ambiance and can definitely make or break a dining experience, in my humble opinion.
The Deco Benedict was McKenzie’s favorite dish. Lately, she’s been spending most of her weekends at grad school in Philly, so she served as our resident Philly cheese steak expert, describing the concoction as a “Philly cheesesteak with a poached egg on top!” But get this, it was made up of just bacon, mushrooms, and leeks. The 63-degree egg, is a poaching style where the egg is slow cooked in its shell in 63 degree water. I had never heard of the method, but loved the result.
The shrimp and grits were delicious, but we weren’t crazy about the novelty of the homemade sausage. We were also impressed with the amount of lobster that was included in the souffle, but felt that the dish was overpowered by the spinach. The homefries were finely chopped and cooked with just the right amount of crispiness.
We learned the B.D. sliders were made with a combination of several types of beef and infused with bacon. I’m not usually a fan of blue cheese on my burgers, but we all agreed the smokey bacon and blue cheese combination was killer.
Just when we thought we couldn’t take another bite, we were convinced to try the famous chocolate cake because it was “Just like the one in Matilda.” A picture is worth a thousand words, right? See below.
We were really impressed with how many of the menu items—from the sausage to the butter—are made in house. In an attempt to induce ourselves with a boost of energy, we ordered a round of espresso and cappuccino, before rolling ourselves out the door.
The Bitches say: A-. Bar Deco is great for a hearty, group brunch in an awesome space with great music and outstanding service. We can’t wait to go back for a boozy brunch or a football game on the roof.
Bar Deco serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays starting at 10 a.m. (202) 774-5867