I’ve always thought the Darlington House was a charming locale. Within the historic Victorian row house in Dupont Circle, the restaurant has three very different settings. Downstairs, there is the cantina pub and patio – a rustic wooden bar area with ample outdoor seating, which is more mod than pub.
On the second floor, there is the shabby-chic dining area – damask chairs, tablecloths, tea roses, and chandeliers are contrasted by framed D.C. street art. Nestled behind the dining room is Circle Bar, a sleek, masculine corner with leather stools and dim lighting that was a favorite spot for a warm hot toddy with the boyfriend on those once-frozen D.C. winter nights. And finally, up top, there’s the library, a private event room.
The bright, shabby-chic ambiance in the dining room makes it a great spot for a girl’s brunch. As mandated by the bitches credo, we started with the warm cinnamon-sugar donut holes, served in a brown paper bag with chocolate and caramel dipping sauces. You can’t go wrong with donut holes, and they certainly didn’t.
My co-bitch nibbled on the Farmer’s Market Omelet – filled with lots of yummy cheese and veggies and served with home fries.
Meanwhile, I had the Smoked Salmon Benedict, served with asparagus and a fresh fruit side. The hollandaise was not pleasant – it lacked flavor, and it seemed like they just whipped butter and egg together without any regard for actual taste. There was too much of it. It was inescapable – coating the entire plate and making the English muffins mushy. It was just, well, icky.
The bitches say: C+. The service was good, the dining room delightful, and the donuts delish. But, I just can’t get over that terrible hollandaise.
1610 20th St. N.W.