I can think of no better way to spend a summer Saturday than yoga followed by brunch. Now, if the location is The Ritz-Carlton in Georgetown, then it really is a lovely little Saturday.
I was invited in by The Ritz-Carlton to experience their yoga and brunch package, so I invited my friend Alana. After brunch, we planned to work on our laptops under the umbrellas by the pool. A perfect, productive Saturday, indeed.
The Georgetown Yoga Brunch includes the yoga class, three small plates of your choosing, and bottomless mimosas or Bloody Marys for $45. Considering the quality of the cuisine and the fact that yoga classes in Washington run between $20 and $30 a class, I consider this a great deal. The brunch is also offered without the yoga class for $40.
Held in the shaded grass garden to the side of the hotel, the yoga class was great and appropriate for all ages. While I have been practicing yoga for a decade, there were also beginners present. The class was soothing, stretching, and strengthening, so I was pleased to experience a good workout, as they usually cater these classes to beginners.
Following the class, we were warm and lengthened and ready to eat. We rolled up our yoga mats, grabbed our totes, and headed indoors to brunch. Dressed in yoga clothes and starved for sunshine from our nine-to-fives, we desperately wanted to sit on the patio, and the kind staff was more than happy to oblige. The patio isn’t technically a part of the Degrees Bistro, but can still be serviced by the staff.
We were joined on the patio by Momma Ritzy Duck, the most tenured guest at the Ritz-Carlton Georgetown. This Mallard Duck has lived on the patio at the Ritz-Carlton for more than five years, returning every season to have her babies and make her nests. At this point in her life, she was solo, and was more than obliging to pose for photographs though she politely declined our invitations to join for brunch. Perhaps ducks don’t care for mimosas.
The sausage lollipops immediately caught my eye, described as pork sausage dipped in pancake batter and served with a Cognac-Maple syrup. Instead, however, we each chose to have the chicken sausage and Belgian waffle sandwich, served with cheddar cheese and an egg over-hard. I literally could not think of a better, more American way to make a breakfast sandwich.
Wanting to eat healthy and light after yoga, we selected iced coffees and orange juice rather than bottomless cocktails, and also ordered the beet salad, yellow fin tuna, and local crab cake plates to share.
The local crab cake was all meat, no filler, and served in a traditional style with roasted corn and black bean relish, Meyer lemon aioli and topped with fried tortilla strips. It was a decent yet satisfyingly rich dish and a great order for brunch, lunch, or dinner.
The seared yellow fin tuna, with Asian seaweed, coleslaw, and Teriyaki glaze was good, but nothing memorable. I nearly always order tuna sashimi and beet salad when the dishes are available, and, by comparison, the beet salad was preferred.
The salad includes roasted yellow and red beats, sprinkled with crunchy hazelnuts, tossed in a spiced yogurt sauce, and served with crispy Vermont goat cheese grumbled. It was a bit heavy on the dressing, but the beets, salad and crispy accouterments were a lovely marriage of flavors and provided a filling vegetable dish.
The waitress and manager had both raved about the lemon ricotta mini pancakes, which didn’t surprise me, as that’s usually a dish that’s easy to rave about. But, when they arrived, these pancakes truly were exceptional.
Made with Meyer lemon curd, these pancakes were incredibly flavorful—sweet, tart and rich. Topped with bruleed lemon, lemon curb, and fresh raspberries, the pancakes were incredibly moist and dense, while still being cooked appropriately through.
The Bitches say: A. Amazing cuisine in the lovely, often overlooked second Ritz Carlton in Washington preceded by a lovely outdoor yoga class. A wonderful way to spend a summer Saturday.
Degrees Bistro serves breakfast weekly from 6:30-11:30 a.m. and brunch on weekends. The yoga brunch occurs Saturdays at 10 a.m. through September. Call to make a reservation.
The Ritz Carlton Georgetown
3100 South St.