To quote the late Frank Sinatra, “I love Paris every moment, every moment of the year.” That’s precisely what I started singing when I walked into Ladurée for brunch. Beaming with pastel colors and the faint, yet pleasing smell of sugar, my college friend (and favorite brunch pal) Adam and I ventured to the famous tea room and macaron bakery for a quiet afternoon of French fare. I’ve visited Ladurées in London and Paris, but never feasted on an actual meal. Needless to say, I was more than excited.
We were immediately greeted by Nicolas, who is the manager of the Georgetown restaurant. He had to leave and visit the Union Station location, but we were left in great hands with his colleague Donia.
One of my favorite things about Ladurée was their entire staff spoke French. As a native French speaker, I hardly come across that in D.C. (despite the District being a melting pot of different languages). Any concerns I had about the afternoon instantly vanished.
Adam and I both decided we were in the mood for rosé, so we started with a glass each. Picking my entree wasn’t tough. I normally gravitate to French-style dishes anyway, so I easily settled on the croque monsieur. Adam went with the salmon Benedict.
Our plates quickly arrived and I was taken aback. Traditional croque monsieur’s bear a rectangular shape with a blanket of melted cheese on top. Their version was delicately rolled in manageable, individual pieces. What lacked in the familiar structure certainly didn’t in taste. It was the perfect ratio of bread to ham to cheese. The side salad was a refreshing alternative in between bites. The pomme frites that also accompanied the meal were dangerously delicious, so much so that I wanted to ask for a second serving.
Adam’s salmon Benedict did not disappoint. The Hollandaise came in a separate vessel, so he was able to control just how much sauce he wanted on his eggs. Despite mentioning one of his poached eggs were a little on the well-done side, Adam was overall satisfied with his meal.
You can’t leave Ladurée without trying one (or many) of their famous macarons. So, with a full glass of Champagne left to drink, we each picked three of the signature pastry to devour. I went with vanilla, pistachio and salted caramel. Adam opted for raspberry, lemon and salted caramel. I’ve sampled their macarons before, and the light shells coupled with perfectly proportioned fillings will lead anyone to understand why some wait in long lines to take home a box of their favorite flavor.
The Bitches say: Four Champagne flutes for Ladurée Georgetown. It’s is an easy decision when you want an afternoon brunch that’s quaint and sophisticated. You won’t find plenty of seating, but it’s well worth the wait if you don’t have a reservation.
Ladurée opens for brunch every Saturday and Sunday at 9 a.m.