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Tallula Brunch

A note from the Bitches: this restaurant is now closed.

Oh, happiness: my pool opened last weekend. As Cori Sue and I lounged in our bikinis on Saturday, we decided that this summer’s weekends should have an emphasis on two things: outdoor brunching and sunning ourselves poolside (mimosas optional, but preferred).

I live in Arlington, though. So in order to squeeze in as much sun as possible, and avoid the trek into the District and back out again, we’re going to spend sunny days brunching on this side of the river. After all, there are a whole slew of restaurants in Clarendon, Rosslyn, Ballston, and Pentagon and Crystal cities that must have worthy brunches, right? I mean, I was pretty impressed with my first Arlington brunching bout at Liberty Tavern the weekend prior.

Perhaps we’ll eat our way up Wilson Boulevard, and then back down Clarendon Boulevard. Perhaps we’ll brunch down the orange line or around the Mount Vernon Trail. Either way, we’re starting the Summer Arlington Brunch Tour at Tallula, the sexy, modern-American restaurant just off the beaten path in Clarendon.

I have been to Tallula a few times for dinner. Once on a date (and I must say, it’s a tres romantic date spot), and again during restaurant week. The food was never disappointing, the wine selection fab, the service great. And I love the flow of the place: meet your date in Eat Bar for a drink and a small plate or two (or catch a Sunday night movie there), and then adjourn to your plush booth in Tallula for dinner and dessert.

Brunch at Tallula was good, but not as great as the dinners I’ve had there. Really my only qualm was the atmosphere. Being in the restaurant at daytime, the huge skylight in the ceiling sheds a jarring light on the tables, curtains, and night-time swank décor. The music was tinny, and the place was empty. It’s definitely made for late-night dinners, curled up in comfy booths with one of their 600 bottles of wine.

Has no one else discovered this brunch yet? Where are all the people who live in the surrounding neighborhoods brunching? They should go to Tallula for one reason: the food.

Photo credit: Cori Sue Morris
Photo credit: Cori Sue Morris

I think chef Barry Koslow won my heart when the waiter slid a white plate on the table and said, “fresh warm donuts for you, drizzled with melted Nutella,” Excuse me what? Can I just eat these all day? They were amazing, and the perfect side to my “Morning Mood” cocktail: prosecco, vodka, and liqueur mixed with grapefruit and orange juices. The rest of the drinks sounded mighty tempting, too: Blood Orange Mimosas? Check. How ‘bout James’ Blood Mary? Nom.

Photo credit: Cori Sue Morris
Photo credit: Cori Sue Morris

After those donuts, we wanted to save some room for our entrees, so we went with only one appetizer, thin slices of house-smoked salmon, with capers, red onion, chives and crumbles of hard boiled egg sprinkled on top. Perfect for sharing, and not too heavy on top their triangles of warm wheat bread.

Though not a buffet (and wisely so, they simply don’t have the clientele yet to support a buffet), the a la carte menu was more than enough to choose from. We went for a few standards: the eggs Benedict (it came on a biscuit instead of muffin—how novel) and the spinach omelet, each of which come with home fries. Then there was this: a potato and leek fritatta, filled with pecorino romano, pico de gallo, and spring onions. It was fluffy and divine. While it’s good to have the classic brunch fare, I love that Tallula’s personality came out in this creative dish.

Photo credit: Cori Sue Morris
Photo credit: Cori Sue Morris

And so there you have it. Two Arlington brunches in two weeks—crazy! If you have any Arlington brunch recommendations, please send them our way. You might even get a pool invite.

The bitches say: A! Great, creative food, excellent service, just sit outside on a sunny day, or bring a huge party of people to liven things up in there.

2761 Washington Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201
(703) 778-5051

Bonus! Don’t miss Eat Bar’s Big Beach Blanket Wine Bash, this Saturday, June 5, from 1 until 4pm. They’re bringing on the summer heat with a slew of cool wines, surf flicks, bouncing beach balls, and music from Dick Dale and the Ventures. $25 includes wine tasting, tasty treats from the snack shack, and special one-day pricing for all wine purchases.


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