These Fine Dining Restaurants Aren’t Phoning In Breakfast and Brunch

Rasika West End. Photo by Scott Suchman

Jacques’ Brasserie (332 Springvale Rd., Great Falls): Haven’t seen crepes suzette since the ’80s? Then you haven’t been to the downstairs dining room at L’Auberge Chez François, which serves a lovely version of the Grand Marnier–soaked sweet. You’ll also find cracker-crisp tarts with bacon and onion (we’d skip the lily-gilding hollandaise and poached egg), gracious service, and the garlic bread and herbed cottage cheese that make up one of the best breadbaskets around.

Marcel’s (2401 Pennsylvania Ave., NW): Robert Wiedmaier’s Belgian restaurant launched its à la carte Sunday brunch last winter. It’s as luxurious as dinner, with suited servers proffering velvety mussels gratin and Belgian waffles with Chantilly cream. Oenophiles, take note: All bottles in the expansive cellar, including $1,000-plus Champagnes, are half price during brunch.

Pineapple and Pearls (715 Eighth St., SE): By night, it’s the hottest tasting-menu reservation in town; by day though, you can wander into Aaron Silverman’s chill coffee shop when-ever you please and pick from a short list of breakfast treats: a salmon-and-avocado sandwich loaded with fennel and fresh herbs, say, or an iced sweet roll studded with pineapple.

Preserve (164 Main St., Annapolis): Chef/owner Jeremy Hoffman’s Pennsylvania Dutch upbringing serves him particularly well at brunch, when he puts out strapping chicken pot pies and plates of bologna hash dashed with hollandaise. Don’t skip the Tandy cake, a layering of sponge cake, peanut butter, and chocolate frosting.

Rasika West End (1190 New Hampshire Ave., NW): Big tables of Indian families crowd the dining room on Sunday mornings for Vikram Sunderam’s elegant curries (go for the cilantro-heavy green version with chicken); pancakes made with coconut and cardamom; and poha, a tower of rice, mustard seeds, and crab. Nice touch: Mocktails, such as a passionfruit punch, are just as smartly conceived as the boozy options.

Want more breakfast ideas? Check out more than 50 of our favorite breakfast and brunch joints in DC

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.

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.