2014 Mother’s Day Dining Guide

Options for every kind of meal, from elegant prix-fixe dinners to boozy bottomless brunches.

Del Campo is just one of many restaurants offering Mother’s Day specials. Photograph by Scott Suchman

As on New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day, countless restaurants in Washington serve a special meal on Mother’s Day—or at least their usual Sunday brunch. So how does one decide where to eat this May 11? You know Mom better than anyone, so whether she’s toting young kids or loves bottomless mimosas, wants to take a day trip or return to a Washington classic, we have suggestions for her.

The mom with active kids:

Those toting the young’ins can find family fun at the newish Pinstripes in Georgetown. Not only does the “bowling bocce bistro” boast 14 lanes and six bocce courts, it’s hosting a special brunch buffet from 9:30 to 3 ($30 adults; $15 kids 6 to 12; free for under 5) with $3 mimosas.

The mom whose kids are otherwise occupied:

Time to bring on the bottomless fun! Young mothers (either in reality or at heart) may like the all-you-can-eat-and-drink brunches at Richard Sandoval’s District eateries—including Masa 14El Centro, and Ambar— which combine unlimited small plates, brunch cocktails, and a party vibe ($35 per person). Alba Osteria in Mount Vernon Triangle is also getting in the bottomless game ($30 per person) with endless breakfast pizzas, Italian egg dishes, peach bellinis, and more. If sangria and tapas are more Mom’s speed, consider Boqueria and its bottomless offering, plus complimentary churros with chocolate dipping sauce for moms.

The mom whose kids are pizza-tarians:

The kids are only appeased by pepperoni, but Mom wants a little something different. Graffiato fits the bill with a plethora of options on the three-course Mother’s Day menu, from simple cheese pies to truffle- and egg-topped pizzas and pasta. In Falls Church, Pizzeria Orso caters to a range of tastes and ages with a brunch menu that’s equally bountiful.

The mom who loves a day trip:

For the ultimate indulgence, foodie and otherwise, the Inn at Little Washington opens early at 1 for a seven-course Mother’s Day menu ($178 per person) with dishes such as Osetra caviar with crab and prosciutto-wrapped veal loin with spring vegetables. Scaling back a bit, chef Bryan Voltaggio’s three-course brunch menu ($35) at Volt in Fredericksburg is one of the better fine-dining deals around. Still too fancy? High season for Chesapeake crabs has yet to begin, but you can still get crackin’ on the deck at Cantler’s Riverside Inn just outside Annapolis.

The mom who’d rather stay at home:

Make it a relaxing morning all-around and forgo cooking in favor of a “brunch bag” from Society Fair (pick up at the Alexandria location). The spread serves two to three and includes a sausage-asparagus breakfast strata, ready-to-bake scones, citrus salad, a bottle of bubbly, and more ($57).

The mom who likes to see and be seen:

A-listers such as Michelle Obama and Steve Tyler have recently dined at the elegant Fiola Mare on the Georgetown waterfront, so you’re in good company here. The regular menu will be available alongside a special prix-fixe. A few blocks away at the Four Seasons, the frequently VIP-studded Bourbon Steak serves a three-course brunch menu ($95; $40 for children).

The mom who keeps it low-key:

Mom may not want to wait at Estadio’s bar with the 14th Street crowds for a dinner table, but try it for brunch; the scene is much quieter and the food just as good. Mintwood Place in Adams Morgan provides a more boisterous brunch scene but still keeps it casual—and delicious. Over in Maryland, we’ve always enjoyed relaxing over Black Market Bistro’s brunch, as well as Justin Bittner’s afternoon fare at 8407 Kitchen & Bar (the special Mother’s Day menu is still TBD).

The mom who wants to experience the “new DC”:

Skip the usual dining neighborhoods in favor of something fresh. Try perching on the 100-seat riverside patio at Osteria Morini for DIY mimosas on the growing Capitol Riverfront. If Mom hasn’t checked out Shaw, Table and its four-course Mother’s Day brunch menu ($65 per person) is a nice place to start. She’ll have to wait for dinner in historic Bloomingdale, but the Red Hen never fails to impress.

The mom who loves classic DC:

Few restaurants embody classic Washington like Georgetown’s 1789, which serves a special brunch menu from 10 to 2. The same can be said for the recently revamped historic Iron Gate, whether you brunch prix-fixe in the dining room or à la carte on the picturesque patio. Cashion’s Eat Place isn’t quite as old, but the dining room and patio remain quintessential Washington brunch spots, with Southern-inspired dishes like shrimp and grits to match. Restaurateur Ashok Bajaj’s polished eateries such as the Bombay Club and the Oval Room are also longtime favorites, and while each boasts a different style of cuisine, they all have something special planned for the holiday.

The Jewish mom:

Delicious corned beef, smoked salmon platters, and eggs “Benedictberg” are hers at DGS Delicatessen, which also offers a two-course option with bottomless drinks for $27.

The Peruvian mom:

Chef Victor Albisu created a Peruvian menu ($58) at Del Campo in honor of his mother, with ceviche, lomo saltado, and other classic dishes. The lineup is only offered at dinner, with an optional pisco pairing.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.