Sometimes I feel like I’m living a double life. Buttoned-upon communications professional in clean energy by day; a Bitch, and all that it entails, the rest of the time. Throw in commitments to family and friends, fitness, charitable involvements, social organizations, and the like, and I often wonder how I survive.
As a result of managing so many competing priorities, I’m always late—running from obligation to obligation to party to party always ten minutes behind. Alright, the tardiness may be more a personal flaw than anything else. (Hey! I’m working on it. I’ve also gone back to making my bed in the morning. Baby steps.)
One day I’m supposed to add a husband and children to a career, a company, and everything else? You have got to be kidding me.
Cue Anastasia, who can relate to me, as she has a both a demanding, meaningful career she loves, and is running an ever-expanding business on the side. She’s also married with two young children. I don’t envy her.
Wait a second, yes I do.
Those young children? Hands down the most precious and well-dressed brother-sister duo I’ve ever seen. Anastasia’s Instagram is littered with snaps of the pair hugging and traveling around with their fabulous Mom.
The husband? Gianlugi, a handsome, funny, soft-spoken Italian pastry chef.
The company? Dolci Gelati, a high-end, all-natural gelato company that uses fresh ingredients that are local whenever possible and artisanal when not. “There are certain ingredients that Italians just do better,” Anastasia states. Naturally.
The career? By day, Anastasia works in communications and outreach for the United Nations Foundation, an organization I have admired and followed for quite some time.
The woman juggles all this, and she arrives on time to brunch, dressed stylishly in a red maxi dress and espadrilles, and is seated waiting for me when I arrive at Ripple. She confesses she rarely has time to work out, but by the looks of her is no bigger than a size two, despite the fact she’s married to a sexy Italian pastry chef. My admiration was served up with a side of envy alongside my Benedict that day.
What a Bitch.
After catching up on all our various pursuits, we dove into Ripple’s brunch.
A girl likes her options, and when it comes to brunch cocktails, Ripple has them. For your mimosa, you can select from various fresh juice—either orange, grapefruit, peach, or raspberry—to pair with your bubbly. There are also unique signature cocktails: the colorblind, made with cucumber vodka, rhubarb-tarragon soda, and lime; the “who loves orange soda,” with cardamom gin, orange basil soda, and lemon; and the Bloody Mary, which comes in a traditional, chipotle orange, or cucumber cilantro rendition. That’s right, a chipotle orange Bloody Mary. I’ll have to go back.
I sampled the grapefruit mimosa first, as I wanted something light, fizzy and refreshing, and that’s exactly what I got. The traditional mimosa, with orange juice, was lovely but I much preferred the former.
“My peach mimosa, which really was a bellini, was delicious. As we make fruit gelato with fresh puree, I know what it takes to make a fresh puree and that was certainly the real deal—not just pre-bought juice from a bottle,” says Anastasia, who later sampled a raspberry one, too.
Ripple makes its pastries fresh in-house, including scones, cinnamon rolls, muffins, pecan sticky buns, and English muffins.
Anastasia and I both wanted the pecan sticky bun, but the waitress convinced us to try the cinnamon roll, which I ordered. We split them in half and shared, and I was rather glad to try both decadent rolls.
The cinnamon roll tasted exactly like a cinnamon, but better, with thick, creamy glaze lopped in huge dollops all over it. The dough itself for both was moist, fresh, and warm, but not overly sweet. Really heavenly baked goods.
The salmon side dish was extremely fresh and beautifully presented, with egg crumbles, capers, and red onions.
Anastasia had the egg white frittata with seasonal vegetables and a side of organic mixed greens. The veggies rotate, but on this occasion the frittata contained fresh wild mushrooms, asparagus, and spring onions. It was loaded with mushrooms and asparagus, a major bonus point as I hate it when a frittata or omelet contains a paltry amount of veggies.
Anastasia weighs in, saying, “I loved the frittata which was light and fluffy, sometimes frittatas can be really dry but this one was packed with flavor.” Thankfully, she was kind enough to share.
Anastasia ordered a side of bacon, which she said was crisp and delicious, adding, “I had every strip and was thankful that I did not have to share them!”
For my entrée, I had “sally’s bennie,” an eggs benedict made with its house-made English muffin, Maryland blue crab, poached eggs, and Hollandaise. As blue crab is not the best crab, but its local and fresh, the crab cake was the weakest point. The local, organic eggs were perfectly poached, and the Hollandaise was nicely done, but not memorable, to be honest. The strongest component of the bennie was the moist, spongy English muffin, made by the chef in house as are all the pastries. The muffin made the bennie.
The Bitches say: A. We’ve always loved Ripple’s focus on fresh, local, and sustainable ingredients—it makes for a better meal. We’re so glad the spot started serving brunch!
3417 Connecticut Ave. N.W.
Ripple serves brunch on Sundays.