When the hotel engineers heard about the toasters on the tables, they panicked. Would the sprinklers go off if a diner burned a bagel? A few experiments--and a lot of burned bagels--later, the toasters got the okay. They now add an element of fun to Saturday-morning lox and bagels at the DC Ritz-Carlton's Lobby Lounge.
Redone in beige and celadon with sunlight streaming in, the Lobby Lounge, once a heavily draperied annex to the bar, also has a new menu.
In the mornings from 7 to 11, there's the Express Breakfast with coffee and fresh-baked muffins and pastries. At lunch, besides the all-day light-fare menu--we like the crabcake with avocado, monster fries with gravy, and Foggy Bottom bread pudding--diners can choose the express lunch of the day. It ranges from a sandwich to risotto and is made à la minute.
Afternoons from 2:30 to 5 feature coffee drinks and European-style coffee service with your own pot of Italian Siena coffee and condiments like lemon twists, crystallized-sugar sticks, and chocolate-covered spoons served on a silver tray. There are also strudels, tortes, and other pastries.
From 6 to 9 the lounge chef whips up cocktail tidbits at the cooking bar. The drink menu includes wines by the glass, imported and boutique beers, cocktails from the bar, sparkling and still waters, and flavored iced teas along with coffee and espresso drinks.
On Saturdays, it's lox and bagels from 7 to 11 AM with bagels from Brooklyn Bagels, house-made cream cheese, smoked salmon, gravlax, and cured pastrami salmon. Prices range from $4.75 for specialty coffee drinks to $12 for a New York steak sandwich with carmelized red onions and monster fries.
The Ritz-Carlton's Lobby Lounge: 1150 22nd St., NW; 202-835-0500.
Open daily from 7 AM to 11 PM.