Foggy Bottom is fairly cookie cutter: tall city buildings, upscale apartments, high-end hotel chains, and pricey, formal restaurants with white table cloths. The Caucus Room, located in the Westin Hotel on 24th and M, fits this mold.
The restaurant bears all the hallmarks you would expect from both its upscale hotel location and steakhouse focus at night—modern, slightly formal but still aiming to be accessible to a wide range of potential customers. Customers that could come from their rooms for a quick bite or from K Street lobby firms for high-powered networking lunches.
The Westin is great for tourists—and brunchers—as it’s convenient to the metro, to Georgetown, and to downtown. We (Josh and I) met midday on a Sunday in July. The restaurant invited us to visit (this brunch was on them).
The ambiance of the hotel and restaurant was lovely—marble floors, gorgeous tall ceilings with chandeliers, and a lovely patio with a fountain outside that would be appealing on a cool fall day. Though in July, not so much. Today you’re dining in an elegant space, down to the walk to the bathroom, which is downright serene.
While I wasn’t a fan of the carpeting or art deco style, Josh liked it better, and I agree it was glam. The floor-to-ceiling windows add an extra bit of elegance and natural light, and our window-side made us feel like we were almost outside. Thank goodness in this humidity we weren’t.
It’s hard for us to judge the service fairly since we were one of the few tables there. They did avoid the classic missteps of over-serving and under-serving, an issue to which many restaurants fall victim.
The coffee was served in a French press, and my traditional mimosa was made with fresh orange juice and sparkling wine. Both were pleasant but unmemorable and fit the upscale expectations of a Foggy Bottom hotel restaurant. The Bloody Mary was well-done, spicy and not too thick.
The food was up to snuff and then some. I had the Eggs Norway, a traditional salmon eggs benny served with Norwegian smoked salmon atop an English muffin and topped with Hollandaise.
Josh ordered the Steak Argentine, a grilled hangar steak, with chimichurri and whipped and crispy potatoes. The steak was perfectly rare, with airy potatoes underneath. I snuck a bite of his mashed potatoes, which were rich and fluffy, then consequently went back for several more bites.
The steak was served with a second set of potatoes, which were unnecessary but pretty good, as the grilled onions were a nice touch.
We shared the pancakes, which the waiter plated separately. I really enjoyed the pancakes, they were of the thin-and-moist varietal, topped with fresh berries and served with butter and maple syrup to the side. The reliable, predictable, pancakes were quickly and predictably devoured by us both.
If we had one critique of the brunch it would be that the menu at the Caucus Room is somewhat limited, with breakfast options being traditional and few. Also, the share factor was not fantastic. Items like pancakes were split well (and beautifully), but other dishes did not appear built to pass around a group of friends.
Lastly, we ordered the doughnuts but found that they were out. The Peruvian chef at the Caucus Room, Carlos Delgado, masquerades by night as the founder of CreamCycle, a company that delivers gourmet ice cream sandwiches by bicycle. Charming. Thus, he served up a couple of gigantic ice cream sandwiches. If you’re an ice cream sammich fan, I’d recommend ordering a couple from CreamCycle.
The Caucus Room is lovely, welcoming, and tasty. It’s also dignified, and by that we mean that it’s where you might go after a late night out for low noise and quiet time. It doesn’t fit the get-the-party started vibe of other brunch spots, with drink specials and a busy crowd, it’s more somewhere you’d go for a special occasion, for privacy, or for a visit with your grandparents.
The Bitches say: A-. Although a predictable Foggy Bottom high-end hotel restaurant, the Caucus Room served a flawless brunch. We distinctly remember enjoying traditional dishes like Eggs Benny and pancakes, which after this many brunches, is a feat. Bravo!
The Caucus Room
The Westin Georgetown
2350 M Street NW
The Caucus Room serves brunch on Sundays.