I planned a relaxing Sunday afternoon shopping downtown and catching up with one of my best friends. Is there a better way to recap our string of recent bad dates than over brunch? So, off we went to revisit Woodward Table, located conveniently downtown near the National Mall. Convenient for tourists—not so convenient for us! While I waited for Manisha, I began with a mocha latte to combat my impending yawns.
Adon, our bubbly server, walked us through the menu and made some helpful recommendations after she arrived.
Woodward Table is certainly a place that makes you feel more grown up. A casual lunch and carry out option is also attached to the upscale restaurant. We noticed a number of families seated around us in the large, cozy leather booths. Various woods, orange tones, and a beautiful wine cellar set the backdrop. From our table, we were able to people watch on the ever-bustling 15th street. The Southern-inspired menu has something for everyone in your party.
We were equipped with mimosas and ready to indulge. Bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys are available for $22.50 alongside your entrée.
While I usually begin with savory options and end with sweets at brunch, I just couldn’t resist starting with Woodward’s patisserie dish. The basket is made for sharing as it’s plentiful with a selection of freshly baked pastries, including a croissant, cinnamon puff pastry, apple roll, banana muffin, and pear almond cake. Apple compote, almond butter, and pomegranate molasses are served alongside the bite-sized pastries. The basket was a perfect introduction to our entrées. The pear almond cake was Manisha’s favorite—with the perfect amount of sweetness. The cake was moist, which she enjoyed. She also liked the banana muffin, topped with the almond butter which complimented one another. Meanwhile, I preferred the cinnamon puff pastry and apple roll alongside my latte.
At this point, I was ready for something savory and went for the cacio e pepe. As a bit of a pasta connoisseur, I found the black pepper truffle and buerre fondue to make this dish a true hit. I was feeling especially satisfied with the pepper and pecorino spaghetti as it was light, but still flavorful and delicious.
Meanwhile, our server Adon was oozing with enthusiasm and generously brought out a special Bloody Mary he had concocted for us to try. Manisha tried the Bloody and rated it highly. She would certainly come back for it especially since it was on the spicy side. She usually prefers that extra kick.
After the pastry basket and a few mimosas, Manisha chose to make room for the grandest brunch item on the menu. With a name like the Woodward’s Hot Mess, how could she resist? This item definitely takes after its namesake. She was overwhelmed by the buttermilk biscuit topped with fried chicken, ham, bacon, scrambled egg, and sausage gravy. This dish could easily be shared amongst a few people. While Manisha’s eyes lit up as soon as it arrived, the various layers made it difficult to bite into. She noted the fried chicken was cooked perfectly and sat nicely on top of the buttermilk biscuit. The sausage gravy only added to the deliciousness.
Growing up, I avoided beets and radishes like the plague. These pink veggies are amongst my father’s favorites. He made unsuccessful attempts at convincing me otherwise that these veggies are anything short of delicious when I was a kid. As a mature adult, I’ve reconsidered my feelings towards beets and tried the beet bourguignon. Beets, mushroom, pearl onion, and carrots sat on a bed of butternut squash farro and roasted grapes drizzled in a vegetable demi glaze. The generous portion boasted a mixture of flavors and textures. While this dish was a little sweeter than I would have liked, it was still a winner for its creative take on beets.
Manisha is a sucker for a good side of Brussels sprouts. She secretly saved space for a few bites after making quite a dent into her Hot Mess. The Brussels sprouts were crispy, mixed with chunks of the Applewood bacon and drizzled with a cider glaze to her surprise.
We had a lovely afternoon in a tranquil space catching up over the sweet, spicy, and savory brunch items that Woodward Table has to offer. Our server Adon couldn’t have been any more delightful. It was apparent from our arrival he was on a mission to make our experience as enjoyable as possible. He certainly succeeded in his endeavor.
The Bitches say B+. We highly recommend this upscale restaurant in the heart of downtown. It’s a great spot to bring your family visiting from out of town or to catch up with a large group of friends over a quality meal.
Woodward Table serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (202) 347.5353