The distinct flavor of burnt hotel eggs and soggy bacon is a memory embedded in my mind forever from too many repeated experiences. There are few places that defy the notion of “average hotel food.” Cherry at the W Hotel is not the flavor town we’d buy a one-way ticket to visit, but it is one of the better hotel brunches we’ve embarked upon.
It’s hard not to be giddy whilst entering the grand foyer of the W Hotel in downtown D.C. We knew we were getting ourselves into a gargantuan brunch buffet with a bunch of tourists and politicians, but we couldn’t help but feel excited by the fact that we felt like we were on vacation.
The tall ceilings permit a tantamount height of windows letting endless light into the space. The setting is stiff and standard for a hotel restaurant, but booths and chairs are comfortable and good for groups.
We tried both the buffet and the à la carte items. Ultimately, the buffet is not the route you should go, unless you’re doing standard pastries, charcuterie, and multiple rounds of plates of lox because that stuff is gold. The à la carte menu is small, with just five items, but has the staples.
We decided hotels, and the W specifically, are awesome places for bottomless endeavors. The W has a built-in post-game spot at the famous POV rooftop, where you can relax and soak in the non-negotiable best view of the city. You can add bottomless mimosas to either format of your brunch at the DIY mimosa bar. The Champagne is good, and the fun flavors are house-batched.
We’ll break down our avocado toast: avocado, smooth, ripe, and as it should be. The soft boiled egg that oozed down the sides added a nice texture. The brioche was too sweet and soft to pair with the toppings. The dish needed some added acid and crunchy texture. The portion was great, considering you’re going to pay top dollar for this plate of bread and avocado. Overall, the avocado toast is tasty but could be awesome if tweaked a bit.
If there’s a burger on the brunch menu, we order it. We liked this burger. The patty was juicy and had a great bun, and was topped with raclette cheese right in front of you. This soft cheese is milky and nutty and went well with the grilled meat and fresh toppings. Though the cheese is definitely a value-add, the price is extremely steep at $22.00, making famous burgers like the Le Diplomate’s $18 burger seem like a steal.
The heaping bowl of overnight oats didn’t have the best presentation. It seems like a large pond of mush with green algae on it. It ended up tasting quite good, and I could tell they didn’t just dump a bunch of sugar into the mixture as many restaurants do. There was a bitter, grassy matcha drizzle along the top (said algae) that was a unique and beneficial savory addition to a smooth rendition of overnight oats.
We ordered the breakfast plate to get a sense of the quality of the basics. Well, this was definitely basic. Just a few eggs with toast and sausage. The dish was under-seasoned and ultimately wasn’t anything special. If you’re craving a few things here, and a few things there, just opt for the buffet.
The eggs Benedict was excellent. There’s no special modification here to make it stand out, but there’s high-quality ham that doesn’t have that slimy, rubbery consistency we find too often. The sauce is delicate and the eggs were perfectly cooked and ready for their photo op. Served with a fresh side salad, we also liked that this decadent dish had some levity.
The Bitches say: three Champagne flutes
This brunch is really fun with a group of friends from out of town if you’re looking for a balanced day of D.C. culture, relaxation, and consumption. We’d recommend this over most standard hotel brunches around town any day.
Cherry serves brunch on Sunday from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.