It was Inauguration Weekend, and D.C. was swarming with tourists. I had failed to make brunch reservations. Where can I gather a huge group of friends for a big brunch at the last minute on D.C.’s biggest weekend?
I know—Kellari Taverna. And so we gathered at a long table by the window inside the huge restaurant on K Street.
I guess I don’t completely understand why people don’t embrace Kellari Taverna more. I’ve been there twice for brunch and both times I’ve visited, the place has been empty.
Is it because of its location, downtown near Farragut Square, a pocket of D.C. that generally sees tumbleweeds on the weekends? Certainly PJ Clarkes and Boqueria, both of which are just a few blocks away from Kellari, are doing pretty well.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, stop the boycott, Washington. Kellari Taverna has a great brunch, and both times I’ve been, I’ve left happy and satisfied.
It’s a great deal, first of all. For $25.95 you get unlimited champagne with your choice of an entrée, plus they serve up baskets of pastries at the end to share.
Plus the service is fabulous (perhaps because they’re just so happy to have customers). Our waiter was attentive, and kept my coffee full. When they realized I was asking for more and more coffee, they simply brought a pot of it for me. Thanks!
It was a great place for my mom, who was in town visiting. She thought it was lovely, with its white table cloths and jazz duo in the corner. “It was tastefully done,” she announced after brunch, in her British accent. “It wasn’t trying to be pretentious, it was just nice.”
The only thing she didn’t love was that the waiter didn’t know the difference between a cappuccino and a latte. And her latte, for costing $4, was rather blah.
Thankfully, there was bread on the table—with plenty of different types of hummus and dipping sauces to share. We all devoured it.
The brunch menu had all the classics but with a Mediterranean twist, and the dishes were solid, with only a few exceptions. For instance, the base of the Benedicts were pita, which was a little tough, though a good idea in theory. The portions were also a bit small for the price.
The smoked salmon Benedict, or shall we say, the “Avga Solomos,” was perched on its house-made pita with smoked salmon and poached eggs. The lemon mint hollandaise was a bit thick and dried quickly, though.
My Eggs Ulysses was a Benedict with spiced lamb patties. The lamb was perfectly cooked. The poached eggs were just a tad overcooked, but I understand how hard it is to get those eggs perfect—especially when you’re trying to serve up dishes for such a big table all at once. They had tzatziki on top. On the side, fingerling potatoes.
The omelet selections were grand, especially the Horiatiki Omeleta, a Greek-style frittata with spinach and tomato. It was thick and tasty, with feta sprinkled on top. On the side, oregano fries and salad greens.
The bottomless deal was nice, not the cheapest around, but it does give you the option of having mimosas or just champagne. The bread basket at the end was great, but we wished they would have brought it out as an appetizer, not the dessert.
The Bitches say: B! Not a bad brunch at all; it’s sad it’s so lonely and empty. It’s definitely worth a visit.
1700 K Street N.W.
Kellari Taverna serves brunch Saturday and Sunday.