Easter Sunday is this Sunday. Which is a good reason to highlight the ten 2019 RAMMY nominated brunches. It’s also a good chance to remind everyone about the Passport program/chance to win tickets to this year’s RAMMYs. Just visit and share (Tweet, Instagram or Facebook post) a photo from your visit using the hashtags #RAMMYS19 and #BYThings and tagging the restaurant and you can win two tickets for the biggest D.C. food event of the year. If that doesn’t get you into a restaurant this Saturday and/or Sunday late morning, what follows should do the trick.
Casual Brunch of the Year
This neighborhood spot is consistently solid. Whether you’re looking for a good hangover brunch or a restaurant nice enough to bring your parents, you’ve come to the right place. Highlights on the menu include the burrito (both the meat and veggie versions) and the loaded shrimp and grits (featuring a poached egg and sausage). The brunch drinks lean light and bubbly, but if you need something to ground you after a rough night, the variety of Bloody Marys should help. Or you can always do what I do and drink a Steigl Radler. It won’t get you drunk, but there is just enough alcohol to feel like you’re drinking the hair of the dog. -K.D.
Tucked away just north of Glover Park, Casolare feels like a hidden gem, even though it’s on a major street less than a block from the Welcome to Glover Park sign. Chef Michael Schlow’s Jewish & Roman brunch menu features the kind of dishes that look great on Instagram (Smoked Salmon Bagel Plate) and the ugly delicious dishes that make you want to book a return visit (Pastrami & Jalapeño Hash). Good for families, good for couples, good for groups, good for kids, good for imbibers, good for drivers, OK for public transportation takers (that’s the biggest downside) it’s not surprising it’s up for a RAMMY. If you’re not convinced by the brunch options, the sweets in Alex’s Basket of Goodies should change your mind. They’re worth the visit, regardless of your feelings about eggs. -B.W.
Do you want brunch to feel like a party? Do you want to be forced into talking with your date / friends / family? Are you cool with sharing? These are the things you should think about before you make the trip to Compass Rose. Brunch is loud (there always seems to be a DJ when I’m there?) and collaborative. Dishes will come out whenever they’re ready, so it’s best to plot our your meal with the idea that everyone will have a little bit of everything. Once you’ve nailed that down, you can kick back, have a few drinks and enjoy the leisurely process of eating shakshuka and kachapuri. -K.D.
What’s the best part of a Maketto brunch? Buns, baby. Maketto’s bao buns are dreamy, cloud-like doughy softballs stuffed with a curry infused leek filling, served alongside a heady hoisin sauce. Order many of them. Other highlights include gyoza, where soft dumpling wrappers envelope a savory vegetable filling of sautéed greens, and are served over gingery-garlicky-soy sauce dressing. Noodles, eggplant mashed and served with a creamy tofu and crispy hunks of bread for dunking, and red bean sesame balls are also not to be missed. This is the Asian brunch of your dreams. Grab a group of friends and order the whole menu. -P.K.
Call up all your closest friends, your ride or dies and split that Lyft out to Ivy City Smokehouse. When you get there (and this is important) order all of the smoked fish, all of the oysters, all of the food that makes your breath smell rancid and your heart feel good. Then order some more. -K.D.
Upscale Brunch of the Year
I have yet to have a bad experience at Estadio. I also think Spanish tapas is the ideal cuisine for sharing. If you’re with like minded individuals that enjoy a glass of wine around noon, you can’t do much better than this 14th Street establishment. -B.W.
One of my favorite memories ever, was waking up somewhat early on New Year’s Day this year, grabbing a group of my favorite dude friends and heading to the all you can eat brunch buffet at the Four Seasons. Don’t get me wrong, this is not your average buffet — with everything from Dry Rub Quail with BBQ Jus, to Charcoal-Grilled Lamb Chops with Mint Chimichuri this is definitely a “TREAT YO’SELF” kind of meal. The best part? A jovial omelet chef who’ll make your eggs any way you want ‘em and the never ending exceptional service (especially when it comes to refilling your Mimosa glass). -From the BYT Brunch Guide
The cuisine at The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm is “earth to table” where every ingredient has been foraged by the dedicated chefs of the restaurant. The venue’s brunch fare is innovative, beautifully composed and delicious, and by dining at brunch you have the added bonus of being able to see and explore the farm. At brunch, where I dined al fresco, I sampled savory, cream-infused cantaloupe soup, crumbly corn muffins, served with house-made jam and freshly churned butter, and okra griddle cakes topped with sweet creamed corn and smoked parmesan; a sweet and savory dish where the okra and corn are bizarre compliments of each other. Cocktails utilize the farm’s bounty as well; so I would definitely supplement your meal with a boozy brunch beverage. It may be far from the city, but for a brunch to remember the Restaurant at Patowmack Farm is it. -P.K.
Russell Smith, Executive Chef at the Source, serves my favorite brunch in the city. For a set price, you can choose from five or eight items from a dim sum menu that is chock full of handcrafted gems. Without question, you need an order of impossible potstickers. These nuggets are stuffed with impossible meat, currently the food scene’s hottest ingredient. Dan dan noodles are spicy and fragrant, and fried rice (which can be made vegetarian!) comes crowned with a fried egg. Be sure to include the restaurant’s red miso glazed donuts in your order; they are famous for good reason. The Source is upscale and service is impeccable. This is a great special occasion brunch. -P.K.
The magic of Unconventional Diner is that its dishes manage to be better than they sound on the menu. The Moroccan grits aren’t just a combination of lamb merguez, eggs and grits. It’s a full on party in your mouth featuring slivers of delicate watermelon radish, rich grilled broccolini and a soft egg that bleeds into the grits, making it all the more decadent while feeling like you’re actually eating something healthy. They have detox juices, but they also have a double cheeseburger. There are blueberry pancakes and a breakfast Caesar salad. I’m not quite sure what Unconventional Diner is doing, but it tastes good. -K.D.