A month ago Cori Sue and I received an invitation to a Luxury Rendezvous Brunch at Cities Restaurant downtown. I was immediately intrigued. Is this another debaucherous party brunch of epic proportions? If so, I am so there.
We gathered eight beautiful girlfriends and trekked through the sweaty streets of downtown to arrive promptly at 1 p.m. that Sunday afternoon. We were hungry, and we were thirsty, and we expected to roll into loud thumping music and fountains of champagne.
Alas, there was barely a soul at Cities.
The staff were just arriving and setting up, but they didn’t know for what. No one knew about a party brunch, even when we invoked the name of the person who invited us in the first place. Our gaggle of women were dressed to the nines, cranky, and perspiring. So, we left.
First we wandered the streets of downtown to find somewhere nearby. Kellari Taverna? Been there, done that. Bombay Club? Apparently they don’t serve brunch that late. The next best option, besides climbing the Connecticut Avenue hill up to Dupont Circle eateries, was to hop in a cab and head to P Street.
My roommate, Tammy, made the location suggestion. She had been taken to Scion a few weeks before on a date. The reason for the guy’s selection was its menu of beer and fried pickles (Tammy is a connoisseur of both). Five of us girls tumbled out of a very cramped cab ride and into the tiny restaurant, which was packed. Please, we begged, give us a table and mimosas, somewhere near an air conditioning vent. We were melting.
We were rescued by a very cute waiter named Alex, who not only secured us a private room complete with its own beer tap built into the table, but also pitchers and pitchers of mimosas and enormous wine glasses. I was blissfully grateful to be settled into this late brunch, even if I was eating at a restaurant seemingly named after my boyfriend’s car.
The lovely thing about Scion is that it’s a total neighborhood spot in a very lovely area. Clearly people are quite comfortable with just rolling out of their Dupont apartment, comfy clothes and all, and grabbing a table with friends for brunch. It’s also got a nice patio, though it was too hot for that when we went.
Another major plus is that this is first and foremost a liquid brunch. Any of the drinks on the menu can be made bottomless for just $5 more than the cost of the first drink, including beermosas, bloody marys, bellinis, and all sorts of interesting cocktails (I’ll take a Road to Recovery, followed by a Second Wind, please).
We hydrated on mimosas for hours and hours. And by the end of this brunch, the five of us were literally dancing on P Street trying to hail a cab. I hadn’t had such a solidly drunk brunch in a while. But, we’ll get to that later.
After the pitchers of mimosas were ordered, the next stop was to the fruit table, which is piled up high for the picking. Though it’s just a simple selection of sliced melons and grapes, the fruit gives you the chance to eat something refreshing while you peruse the brunch menu. And it’s free with any entree.
We went in for a selection of appetizers. The fried pickles, of course, were the first to be ordered. Thinly sliced, fried, and served with a side of ranch. They weren’t the best fried pickles I’ve ever had (living with Tammy for years means I’ve sampled my fair share), but they were decent to get things started.
The honey glazed baked brie was served on crostini with toasted almonds and srawberry preserves. Not only was this a very pretty dish, it was tasty, too. It went nicely with the curried potato chickpea croquettes, which were served with a cucumber yogurt sauce. There were lots of good appetizers to choose from. We even dipped into the hummus, which is made out of edamame.
For brunch, you can order salads and sandwiches, or a selection of breakfast and egg dishes. The nice thing about the salad and sandwiches menu is that you have an array of carnivorous toppings to choose from: grilled or crispy chicken, smoken salmon, steak, shrimp, or even scallops.
Brooke built her own scramble, which was fantastic. The protein selection for the a la carte eggs are just as impressive as those for the salads and sandwiches. You can get lobster, crabmeat or rock shrimp, ham, bacon, ground beef, chorizo or turkey sausage. For the veggies, a veggie crumble, black beans or veggie. Then, cheese and veggies.
The winning dish at the brunch table was actually the lobster Reuben, made with lobster meat, sauerkraut, 1000 island, Swiss cheese, and served on rye bread. It was packed with flavor, and toasted nicely.
Likewise, my lobster hash was tasty and massively filling. It was made with red potatoes, bacon, poached eggs, and Old Bay Hollandaise. We had high hopes for the cinnamon vanilla French toast, but it wasn’t as amazing as we had hoped. It was served with vanilla dipping sauce, maple syrup and crispy bacon, but the toast itself was a bit soggy.
The rest of the brunch options sounded mouthwateringly satisfying, especially after buckets of mimosas. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to try the Scion Sunrise, the breakfast sandwich, the crab cakes benedict, the steak and eggs, or the smoked salmon. That menu is like a roster of classic brunch dishes served without frills. I will definitely be back.
After nearly four hours of brunching the way brunching should be done, we staggered out to P Street to catch a cab. Ten minutes into our efforts, Alex, our server, ran out after us. Silly girls … in the midst of our raucous brunching, we had forgotten to sign our credit card receipts.
The Bitches say: Solid A. Awesome bottomless deal, and the food wasn’t anything gourmet, but it hit the spot.
2100 P Street Northwest
Washington D.C., DC 20037