“It’s really hard to eat while you’re dancing!” my Bitch Robb yells at me from across the table. He’s bopping up and down to the bass while simultaneously trying to shovel a Benedict into his mouth.
The music is thumping loud enough to shake the table. The champagne is flowing. The disco ball is spinning. People are dancing on their chairs. And we’re … eating brunch?
That’s right; it’s a party brunch—a trend that’s taking over New York, and hopefully D.C. soon, too. Because, after all, why wait until nightfall to get the party started? It’s my brunch wet dream to be dancing atop a table spraying a magnum of champagne into a wild crowd before 3 p.m.
So I was thrilled – thrilled, I tell you! – when I heard D.C. finally had its very own party brunch, “La Boum,” which slugs itself as “D.C.’s sexiest brunch.” Held at L’Enfant Café & Bar, La Boum throws down every Saturday from 2 to 5:30 p.m. But you can’t just show up –
The owners, Jim Ball and Christopher Lynch, haven’t advertised La Boum at all since they started it in December. Promotion has been strictly word of mouth, and yet, the restaurant’s 60 seats are booked solid five weeks in advance. Why? Because it’s fun. It’s really fun …
When you arrive, L’Enfant is just a quaint French café. White tablecloths, purple flowers, tin roosters and French accoutrements on the walls. But once the seats are full, the music gets turned up. The DJ’s equipment is perched on a set of glassware, which I thought was rather adorable. The tunes are a teeny bopper’s (or a gay man’s) dream come true: Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, upbeat Euro pop, mixed with some oldies like Madonna.
By 2:30 p.m., despite some of our Bitches’ hungover exhaustion, we are bopping around in our seats at the table. We order a few bottles of champagne. They come out with sparklers and fanfare. We order our picks from the brunch menu, which is a mix of French treats and breakfast dishes.
By 3 p.m., the owners have taken charge of the situation and are standing at the front of the restaurant telling us all to buckle our seat belts and showing us the emergency exits. We’re instructed to draw the blinds. They pass out shots of Kir Royale. We order a few more bottles of champagne.
By 3:30, the food has arrived. We are drunk and hungry, and therefore the plates seem rather small and unsatisfying. We inhale it all, while bopping to the music, and want more. Why not load up the potatoes? Such measly portions, we say to one another. Bring us another crepe! Load on the Nutella, dammit!
After 4, it all gets a bit hazy. Suddenly the restaurant is being taken over by a bosomy burlesque dancer named Wham Bam Pam, who has made her way to her improvised stage: the bar. The tables are being cleared, and a dance floor is emerging. Enormous Antoinette-style wigs are being passed around. Glow sticks suddenly make an appearance. Clothes are being shed. Everybody in the restaurant is best friends.
I am later told that we went through six cases of champagne that Saturday—and not everyone in the place was drinking the bubbly. Our table alone went through nine bottles. I think. A word to the wise: take it easy the night before this brunch—we had hungover Bitches dropping like flies.
At the end of our much-enjoyed liver pummeling, we staggered out into the street, cringing at the sunlight and heading towards the nearest dark bar, which happened to be Chi Cha Lounge, to recover. It was an awesome—if not exhausting—Saturday afternoon. But it was time for a disco nap.
The Bitches say: A. The wildest brunch we’ve ever been to in D.C. But don’t expect gourmet food, just gallons of champagne.