D.C. has some seriously awesome brunch venues, but I think I just found one that may be the best. Many of you may not consider going downtown for brunch on the weekend, but Woodward Table, right by the White House is worth the trip. This is the brunch of champions.
Let’s get to the good part: the food! Brunch at Woodward Table has to start with Woodward’s patisserie, which features a plate of the most delectable baked goods you can imagine. The treats are made daily by the restaurant’s pastry chef. The day we were there I was treated to almond cake served with pomegranate molasses, an oh-so-flaky Italian croissant dotted with sea salt, a chocolate chip brioche that literally melted in my mouth, and a fluffy spice muffin served with housemade apple butter. Order the bread plate with a mimosa (which are bottomless!) and take your time perusing the menu. There are so many options!
Part of what I love about the menu is that the restaurant offers both lunch and brunch fare, which is important because at brunch sometimes you feel like breakfast and sometimes you feel like lunch! At Woodward, the menu was so tempting I decided to get breakfast and lunch items (my inner fat kid was out with a vengeance). One of the breakfast highlights was Executive Chef Eddie Moran’s twist on scotch eggs, where instead of wrapping the egg in meat it comes wrapped in falafel! It is delectable; the falafel is full of flavor and spice and has a crisp texture, a perfect robe to the perfectly boiled egg. Served on a bed of baba ghanoush with roasted cauliflower adorning the plate, it is robust, satisfying dish that can also be shared.
Another winning breakfast dish is the Dutch baby, which comes in its own adorable little skillet. Flaky and light, it is topped with sweet housemade apple compote, a dollop of sour cream whipped cream, and a light sprinkle of powdered sugar. It is a cozy, comforting dish, great for one and also ideal for sharing if you only want a few bites of something sweet.
Next, I moved on to some of the lunch-esq entrees. First, a rich, luscious, mouth-watering cacio pepe that will comfort even the most hardened soul. And then, a wildly innovative beet bourguignon. Chef Eddie recently went to Japan, where he studied the culinary traditions of the country, including the concept of unami which he is trying to incorporate into his dishes—including the vegetarian items. Unlike many other chefs he understands that a vegetarian main course is not only possible but can be wonderful; the key is that the dish should be intentional pairing of ingredients, rather than just hodgepodge of vegetables thrown together. In the beet bourguignon Chef cooks down beets, mushrooms, and carrots and soaks them in a savory vegetarian demi glace. The vegetables are served over a butternut squash studded farro and adorned with roasted grapes. Each element is added for purpose, with a great deal of thought from Chef, so that there is sweetness (from the beets and grapes), nuttiness and texture (from the farro), and an element of meatiness and density (from the mushrooms). The result is a dish that is that substance and depth, where the vegetables are the star; the natural result after being treated so magnificently.
For dessert, we indulged in an exquisite plate of petit fours which featured a coconut truffle, almond cake, passionfruit mousse, chocolate covered nougat, a mini chocolate tart with lime, a chocolate square with a pistachio mousse, a lemon tart, and a mocha macaroon. It is the ultimate in decadence, and the perfect ending to any meal.
This is a meal that starts with a bang (the baked goods!) and ends on a note just as high (petit fours!), with a whole lot of awesome in between.