I was absolutely taken by Macon Bistro & Larder. The interior of the restaurant is charming—a luxurious bistro that’s reminiscent of a Southern garden party—marrying Southern and French influences.
At the center of the space, there’s an old fashioned wooden bar, with vintage bar stools and low vintage light fixtures hanging above it. At the center of the mirrored bar is a sign bearing the restaurant’s name in lights.
The walls are lined with a luxurious, velvety dark green wallpaper, with accents of filigreed glass and white tile. The seating is in the style of a French bistro: square wooden tables with four Thonnet chairs around them.
I had plenty of time to enjoy the setting while I waited for my friend Sophie to join me for brunch. Fortunately, I usually have a book with me on the off chance I am ever the first to arrive.
I sat waiting at a table by the window on an overcast summer day, reading a great book, and enjoying the calm before Monday’s storm. When Sophie arrived, we began chatting and ordering drinks.
We ordered a French press coffee, which has recently become the brunch staple in Washington. It’s as if every restaurant that aspires to be chic says, “Why, of course, we must serve our coffee in a French press!”
The coffee served was La Colombe, which is far better than the coffee served in many diners and fast casual restaurants, though in general I don’t see what the fuss is about.
Though the last thing I wanted was alcohol, I felt compelled to order from the cocktail menu, which was a thoughtful, unique collection of craft cocktails inspired by the Prohibition era. Our waitress was an incredibly sweet young lady. She was competent, genuine, and responsive—but not at all intrusive.
Though I was initially tempted by the Martini de Lamartine, made with vodka, St. Germaine, orange, and lemon, after wavering back-and-forth, I went with the waitress’ recommendation of the “I don’t sail.” It was made with rum, Pamplemousse, lime, maraschino, and grapefruit bitters.
Our eyes seized upon the deviled eggs, made with bacon bits, red pepper marmalade, and smoked oil. The eggs were enormous, and beautifully presented, packed with flavor from the smoked oil. Plus, the chef didn’t skimp on the bacon bits.
It’s worth noting that the prices on the menu are a bit steep: $20 for chicken and waffles, $24 for steak ‘n’ eggs. This brunch was on the house (thank you), but I feel the sticker shock need to be mentioned. The setting is pristine, and the food gourmet—so I assume Macon feels these prices are fair.
Like my Bitches Becca, Lacy, and Maureen, Sophie is an Eggs Benedict aficionado. While there was no Eggs Benny on the menu, she ordered the next closest thing: biscuits and gravy with poached eggs. The dish had biscuits, a creamy Hollandaise, thick-cut bacon, and poached eggs. It was a bit runny—but full of flavor.
I was tempted by the shrimp ‘n’ grits, short rib hash, and the hanger steak and eggs, but I ultimately decided upon the chicken and waffles, with pickled watermelon rind and honey hot sauce as well as syrup.
The chicken was juicy on the inside, crispy on the outside, and full of flavor. Still warm on its arrival, the waffle was moist and soaked up the syrup quickly. The pickled watermelon rind provided an unique flavor pairing with the waffle, chicken, and syrup. The result was a pleasant surprise.
I was smart to request a side of “macon bacon,” which is cured in house. The thick-cut bacon was some of the largest bacon I’ve ever seen. Impressive.
The Bitches say: A-. A splendid setting for brunch with craft cocktails and gourmet Southern comfort cuisine with a twist.
Macon Bistro & Larder
5520 Connecticut Ave. N.W.
Macon Bistro & Larder serves brunch on Sundays.