There is a startling lack of viable dining options on Connecticut Avenue in Dupont.
Aside from Bistro du Coin, the options are dismal. La Tomate is over-priced and under-whelming, to say the least. You won’t be finding me at Alero, James Hoban, Cosi, Chipotle, or Potbelly anytime soon, much less Subway. I’m quite fond of Café Dupont and Pizzeria Paradiso, though both places are over-priced for what you receive and always jam-packed.
In terms of gourmet junk food, Fudruckers, which closed, was more exciting to me than Shake Shack. That’s the Midwestern girl in me versus the New York City gal in so many I’m acquainted with.
I’d dined at Sette when I interned in Washington back in 2007, but had not returned since. The patio is enormous and the location great. I always wondered about this restaurant. Sometimes it’s crowded, sometimes it’s completely desolate.
So, I brought my Bitches; we have a few additions to the tribe. Amanda Jean, previously the Baby Bitch, is now helping out with social media as the Social Bitch. You might have heard from Emily, our Business Bitch, or seen her party hoppin’ and boppin’ on our behalf. And, look out for an announcement of our newest Baby Bitch soon. It’s a little Bitch family.
Sette was completely empty when Emily and I arrived at 11 a.m. It only grew slightly more occupied over our two-and-a-half hours there. At first, the service was great—as we had the entire staff attending to us. They even assisted us in moving from outside (which we quickly discovered was too cold in the shade) to inside the restaurant. But, as the day wore on, the waiters seemed utterly incapable of handling two or three tables each. Go figure.
Sette’s brunch is promising. Brunch cocktails—Bloody Marys, mimosas, Bellinis, and Kir Royales—are $5.95 or $15 for bottomless. The patio is enormous, so it it’s a great space for a boozy group patio brunch. The menu offers more than 10 types of omelets, Benedicts and egg dishes, pancakes and French toast, as well as lunch options. There’s surely something for even the most particular bruncher.
The coffee was hot, fresh and slightly better than diner coffee—and the servers did keep it coming.
Naturally, I opted for the crab cake Eggs Benedict for my entrée. The Benedict itself was less than perfect; the English muffins were good and properly toasted, but that was the best part. The poached egg was cold, the crab cake made primarily with filler, and the Hollandaise lacking in flavor and freshness. The side salad, with frisee, onions, and cherry tomatoes, with a light dressing was a delicious, healthy and welcome addition.
Social Bitch Amanda Jean opted for the Sette Tarte. The tarte was composed of mozzarella, avocado, and tomatoes served in a tartlet cup, alongside a side of bacon and two eggs done over easy. The dish was decent, she says, adding: “I enjoyed eating it, but it was certainly nothing memorable.”
Meanwhile, Business Bitch Emily had the Contadina omelet. She says, “I had very high expectations for an egg concoction combining some of my favorite egg mix-ins: eggplant, roasted peppers and mozzarella. Sette managed to avoid many of the classic omelet errors of too oily veggies, too yolky base or too haphazard a presentation. The omelet was cooked to perfection, and the content-to-egg ratio was on point. I was left feeling very satisfied but comfortable, given the gratuitous nature of the ingredients.”
As this is a Bitch brunch, we opted for two desserts to share. First up, the Nutella flatbread, which sounded amazing in description but was less-than-amazing in reality. It was described as a flatbread with bananas, strawberries, sliced almonds, Nutella and caramel sauce. Instead, it was a cold, hard flatbread with Nutella and all sorts of fruit—strawberries, pineapple, honeydew (sacrilege!), but no bananas—covered by a weird gelee.
First, Nutella goes best with bananas and strawberries. Secondly, honeydew is gross. Thirdly, this weird gel on top of it all took away from the dish and just plain freaked me out.
We concluded with sampling of gelato from Dolci Gelati, our favorite gelateria. The mango gelato was light, fruity and unique and a hit with the girls. The crème brulee gelato is my permanent favorite and the chocolate gelato was a good staple. Unfortunately, there was a bit of freezer burn, so we’re bummed Sette couldn’t even serve up our favorite gelato correctly.
The Bitches say: C-. I’m torn. It’s a great bottomless deal and the omelets are great. The main dishes need work and don’t put that weird gelee on the Nutella flatbread. Oh, and provide more stable service.
1666 Connecticut Ave. N.W.
Sette serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.