I felt a bit out of place stepping out in Dupont Circle at 11 a.m. dressed to the nines in a cocktail dress and heels. No, this wasn’t a walk of shame. It was my birthday weekend, and I was heading to a party brunch at STK.
This party brunch was a first (and only!) for the restaurant, and as soon as I got wind of it, considering the opportune timing that it was my birthday weekend, I booked a table for 10.
Get out your dancing shoes, I told my friends. This is going to be epic. Excellent timing, STK.
Dupont’s newest steakhouse—and the latest restaurant import from New York—claims to be for the ladies. Their portions aren’t obsessively huge, the atmosphere is chic, and the music is always fabulous. I enjoyed the (ridiculously packed) opening night party, and I’ve had a few fun dinners there since.
With the brunch promise of three hours of bottomless, we arrived right on time. The theme was Red, White, and Booze, and inside the front doors, there were blow-up kiddie pools filled with ice, inflatable beach balls, Red Bull, and magnums of Moet.
The DJ was already jamming, so we saddled up to the gorgeous white bar to get cocktails while our table was being prepared. This brunch was the grand finale to an already incredible, fun-fueled birthday weekend, so I was proud of the eclectic group of friends who powered through.
There aren’t many decent party brunches in Washington. La Boum is the best of the (limited) bunch. A few other local restos have tried and failed, like Lost Society and Napoleon. Only in New York do the restaurants manage do it right, so I had high hopes for STK to bring the party.
The DJ was playing some pretty fun songs, and we were dancing all the way to our massive round booth on the “loft” tier of the restaurant. We were in the corner of the restaurant, but that was OK, because one of the great flaws of party brunches is there’s no way to get away from the pounding noise in order to actually have a conversation. This allowed us to.
All the tables were decorated with red, white, and blue sparkly settings and American flags. We ordered bottomless mimosas, bellinis, and Bloody Marys. And because our table was 10, we actually had three hours of bottomless instead of just two.
The first thing that always drops on the table at STK is the incredible bread. It’s like pretzel dough baked in a cast-iron pot and covered with garlic butter. You tear it apart, and it melts in your mouth. They serve it with a bit of oil and pesto. And it’s such a great start to dinner or brunch.
The brunch menu that day was a $55 prix fixe, which sounds steep. But, you’re receiving an appetizer, entree, dessert, bottomless booze, and a ridiculous party to boot. In my opinion, that’s a steal.
Everyone at the table had a choice of the appetizers, but most went for the tuna tartare, which was gorgeous. Served stacked on a bed of avocado and soy mustard emulsion, the dish is stunning and delicious. It’s little rice crackers are precariously balanced on top, and they go quickly, but the server was happy to bring us more.
I ordered the bag of miniature muffins, which arrived hot, but I had wished I had gone for the tuna. The selection was blueberry, peanut banana, chocolate chip, and even sweet corn jalapeno. And while they were cute, even served in a little paper bag, they were too carby for a party brunch, so we didn’t really touch them.
The fresh fruit plate was very pretty and colorful, with slices of kiwi, peaches, oranges, and an assortment of berries. It was served with an adorable pot of yogurt and granola. A nice starter dish that is good for sharing.
The potato blue crab fritters were fried balls stuffed with just that, potato and blue crab. They were bite-sized and sprinkled with parmesan.
We looked around, and the other tables in the restaurant were already making their way through their meals. We must be slacking! In fact, a particularly rowdy table near us all jumped out of their booth and started a conga line that wrapped around the entire place. We all clapped along but then decided to quickly finish up so we could join the party.
Of course, I had to order the steak and eggs for my entree. The steak wasn’t huge at 5 ounces, but the perfect size for me, cooked exactly how I like it. A cast-iron skillet of eggs cooked with goat cheese was on the side. Plus, a big hashbrown that easily broke apart and was perfect with the eggs.
The hamburger was impressive. It came with a fried egg and thick, thick bacon set atop an enormous beef patty, all precariously perched between two buttery buns. On the side, a cast-iron pot of french fries. The breakfast sandwich was similar to the burger, just with different bread.
We had a vegetarian at the table, and I was impressed that he made do with the meat-heavy menu. He ordered the steak and eggs but substituted vegetables for the steak. It was served with perfectly cooked asparagus, and plenty of it. He was happy.
The entree menu also offered plenty of sides to choose from, and a pretty impressive raw bar, too. But we wanted to stick to the prix fixe. This brunch was already excessive enough.
For dessert, there were only two options, an apple pie or a chocolate brownie. The spiced apples were actually in yet another cast iron skillet (they really have a lot of those here), baked, and sprinkled with powdered sugar with a dollop of caramel corn ice cream on top.
The chocolate brownie was beautiful. A thick, gooey, super rich brownie square set on a thin painted layer of chocolate, with a dollop of malted vanilla ice cream and a gorgeous piece of white chocolate that had leopard spots perched on top. Quite artistic.
The brunch meal itself only took us an hour, and with two more hours of bottomless to go, we asked our server if we could transfer our tab over to the bar. We wanted to be in the party! She happily obliged, and we moved over to the comfy leather couches in the bar area.
Before long, the champagne was flowing there, too. And the bar space became our dance floor. Servers were bringing out more and more bottles of champagne—now with sparklers lit up—and the dance floor was getting packed.
I was being twirled around by my friends, and I occasionally even joined a bit of line dancing. Everyone was having a blast, and it was contagious. The wait staff were all donning huge American flag hats and dancing to the music while delivering food and drinks.
The DJ couldn’t stop dancing and clapping, either, donning a big goofy grin the entire brunch. Even the bartenders were happily keeping the champagne and smiles going. In fact, I think some of the staff were having more fun than even some of the patrons at tables.
We danced until we were exhausted, and slowly members of our brunch crew started dropping like flies. First one, then two, then there were only a few of us left. We sipped the last of our champagne, put our sunnies on, and braced ourselves as we saddled out the front doors into bright sunlight.
The Bitches say: A! Such a great party brunch. Too bad it’s not a permanent fixture at STK. Let’s hope they throw another.
1250 Connecticut Ave. N.W.