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Bitches Who Staycay: Capella Brunch

Georgetown
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Something is about to go terribly wrong, I just know it. You see, life is just too perfect right now. I am happy, healthy, and satisfied. As are my closest friends and family. Several of my best friends are getting married. Becca is happy, and healthy, and after three years we haven’t killed each other. I love my job. I love my Bitches.

And, after surviving the horrors of dating in D.C. and coming out unscathed, I’m smitten with a charming chap whose only flaw is the fact he doesn’t have any.

Naturally, like a meerkat avoiding a crocodile, I’m terrified something is about to go awry. Because I’m far too Bitchy to deserve all this good fortune.

Capella Brunch

Which brings me to my story: It was the new beau’s birthday.

What do you for someone’s birthday you’ve only been seeing two months? Not one to pass up an excuse for a celebration, I chose to ignore all rational dating advice like “don’t go overboard” and “boys buy girls presents. Get him a card.”

Capella Brunch

A week beforehand, his best friend pronounced, “Don’t get him trinkets. He’ll just throw them away.” Thanks for the unsolicited advice, guy.

I didn’t listen, because I rarely do. I ordered several trinkets and excitedly wrapped them up in brown paper packages, tied up with red strings. He unenthusiastically opened them and feigned appreciation. Unsentimental, this one, but highly romantic.

Capella Brunch

Alright, fine. I had another trick up my sleeve. We got into his car, with me in the driver’s seat (a sign of trust at an early stage). I blindfolded him with my pink sleep mask and drove straight to Georgetown, as luxury hotel Capella had invited the Bitches in for an evening stay followed by brunch,

Never one to pass up a staycation, I begrudgingly obliged. “You want to spoil me and my cute boyfriend with a night in luxurious hotel? I mean, I suppose that sounds acceptable. But only because I just got new Brics luggage and I have yet to make use of it.”

Capella Brunch

I don’t believe the personal assistant who called to confirm our evening’s stay understood my sense of humor. But, she did upgrade us to an executive suite.

That evening, without me crashing the vehicle, we swooped up to valet, and were checked in by the charming Esther, who seemed genuinely elated to attend to our every whim. Within mere moments, I was jumping on the bed (sorry, Capella) in the executive suite and eating complimentary macaroons to my hearts’ content. The beau is paleo, so that means more macaroons for me. (Whose birthday is it again?)

The executive suite was so enormous, I couldn’t locate the bathroom. But, that’s alright, there was a guest bathroom. Capella’s decor is modern-yet-comfortable, and highly luxurious. In room amenities include a central computer system with touch panel screens next to the bed to control the H-D, high LCD TVs. Unlike lesser hotels, the refreshments are complimentary—with a well-stocked mini fridge and coffee bar, And, as I had requested, there was sparkling water by the bed and a New York Times by the door in the morning.

Capella Brunch

Eventually, we made our way downstairs to enjoy a lovely, romantic evening in Capella’s stunning living room with Tattinger champagne and canapes by the fire. Ever the gentleman, the boyfriend has a signature cocktail, which happens to be a Manhattan. Capella happens to make a phenomenal Manhattan with aged, fancy-pants whiskey at its appropriately titled Rye Bar.

I’ll skip the details of young love and fast-forward to brunch the next morning.

We were seated at a cozy booth in the corner of Capella’s modern-and-chic dining room. The service at brunch was just as delightful as it had been throughout our stay. And, brunch was off to a good start when a champagne cart loaded with Tattinger bubbly was wheeled to our tableside.

Capella Brunch

As we gradually awoke on boyfriend’s day of birth, we imbibed celebratory Tattinger rose and Nocturno, a special bottle of bubbly, we were told.

The waitress quickly placed a boule of fresh, piping hot sourdough bread on to the table, served with soft butter and a roasted sun-dried tomato, artichoke heart, and cream cheese spread. Again, as the boyfriend is paleo, the bread was all mine. It’s worth mentioning that I absolutely adore the wooden platters on which Capella serves much of its cuisine.

Brunch began with an amuse-bouche of a poached egg with cauliflower cream and salmon roe, which was charmingly served inside the egg shell.

Capella Brunch

I absolutely love cold-pressed juices, and Capella has a juice lab. We both opted for the green apple, spinach, and lemon juice. Boyfriend isn’t a big fan of juice, so I drank both of ours. It was just that good.

When a paleo and a pescetarian dine together, it’s sure to be an interesting occasion. (On our second date, we shared a cheese and charcuterie platter. He ate the meat; I ate the bread and cheese. We both judged each other.)

They brought out the entire selection of Stachowski sausages and paired sauces: (1) chicken red pepper with smoked tomato butter, (2) duck and port wine with pumpkin butter, (3) turkey cranberry with cranberry jus, (4) kielbasa with rye whiskey sauce, (5) Wisconsin-style bratwurst with coarse mustard sauce, and (5) sweet Italian with red wine sauce.

The birthday boy went to town like a kid in a candy shop while I looked on, horrified at the level of animal slaughter, and made immature sausage jokes. As we’re both locavores, we appreciated that the gourmet sausages were sourced from the local Stachowski Market.

Capella Brunch

Having not enjoyed enough of Stachowski’s famed chorizo during the first course, the boyfriend selected the chorizo and baked eggs dish for his entree, which was dressed with chives and tomato butter, and served in a charming skillet on a wooden dish. He, too, is a food snob, and cleaned his plate with gusto. An excellent sign for Capella.

For my entree, I selected the Eggs Florentine, served with smoked salmon, spinach, and a tarragon Hollandaise. It was a traditional Eggs Benedict that was well-executed but unmemorable. I think that’s a commonality with hotel brunches, that the Benedicts tow the line of tradition, rather than upsetting an unsuspecting traveler with an unconventional Benny. That’s the only negative I can muster about brunch at Capella, which was an all-around top-notch experience.

Capella Brunch

We were told we simply must sample Chef Jakob Esko’s signature dish, the orange and rye whiskey cured salmon with crispy sweet potato and cranberry. You see, Chef Jakob is from Sweden, and this is a traditional Swedish dish. As a pescetarian, I eat a heck of a lot of salmon, and I was unenthused about the idea of eating more. As the beau is a paleo and whiskey lover, he loved the salmon, which is cured with Filibuster Rye Whiskey, and I couldn’t help but agree that it was a phenomenal dish despite living a salmon-saturated existence.

As I’m never one to turn down a good fruit plate, that arrived at the table as well. Presented beautifully and adorned with flower petals, the platter included raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, watermelon, pineapple, honeydew, and balls of cantaloupe.

We closed out brunch with an order of cinnamon raisin brioche French toast, topped with vanilla cream, fresh blackberries, and bourbon maple syrup. I must say, I quite like that Capella keeps with the whiskey theme throughout its restaurant and bar. French toast cools quickly, but the Capella kitchen managed to keep this one warm through its arrival at our table. Though I could only muster a few bites, the French toast was moist, flavorful, and delicious. It’s definitely worth ordering on your visit.

Capella Brunch

Following brunch, beau went off to work, and I crawled into the suite’s bathtub to take a few conference calls. I can only hope the occasional staycation at Capella can keep the romance alive between us two workaholics—or then something will have really gone terribly wrong.

The Bitches say: A. Capella is the best of the best: a glamorous hotel with first-rate, personalized service, and gourmet cuisine in a luxurious locale. Best of all, the brunch prices ($8-18 per plate) are reasonable so it needn’t be reserved solely for special occasions.

If you’re looking to have your own glamorous, quiet staycation for two this New Year’s Eve, Capella is hosting an all inclusive special, priced at $999, which includes:
– Champagne and canapes in The Rye Bar at 7pm on Tuesday December 31, 2013
– Five-course New Year’s Eve dinner at The Grill Room
– Live entertainment and after-dinner dancing
– Taittinger Champagne toast is in the Rye Bar
– After midnight supper
– New Year’s Eve overnight stay
– Capella breakfast for two
– Late Check-Out

It’ll be worth every penny.

Capella
1050 31st St. N.W.
Washington, D.C.
(202) 617-2410

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