It began as a way to get Candice out of the house after her fall. Since she wasn’t able to drive at the time, I was concerned that being home was making her stir crazy. Church was one of the initial places we ventured and that first Sunday I suggested that we add on brunch. My motives were probably less than pure. Sure, Candice would get out of the house. But I’d also get to eat great food…without having to cook! (I was doing a number of chores I don’t normally assume last fall.)
Our pattern became pretty consistent. We’d begin to talk about our choices mid-week. In the process we’d check out the “best brunches” in the restaurant lists for the DC area. By Saturday, we go on Open Table and make our reservation. Candice would often study the menu and go to the restaurant knowing what she wanted. I’m not that disciplined.
The brunches had their intended effect…and then some. Candice began to feel more and more comfortable being out of the house. We found great places to eat (and a few not-so-great). Our new-found tradition carried over into the summer, where Andrew and Claire joined us for brunch whenever they were home. We saw the rhythms of our Sundays change, as we would leisurely sit and talk over food and coffee. These times together helped us adjust to our new-found status as empty nesters. We’d plan our week, trips, and holidays over brunch. And did I mentioned that we found some great food.
Why am I writing about this today? Because we’ve just returned from another new find that we loved. One of the twins’ favorite brunch places this summer was Graffiato, an Italian restaurant where the innovative offerings are cooked with locally grown ingredients. Candice suggested chef Mike Isabella’s other DC restaurant, Bandolero, in Georgetown. Technically we had lunch (they don’t serve brunch) at Isabella’s Mexican restaurant, but we’re not quibbling. The lobster quesadilla, crispy cornish game hen, and crazy corn (chile, cheese, and corn nuts around small bites of corn-on-the-cob) were all terrific. Bandolero just opened in May, and Isabella – with a new book out named Crazy Good Italian – is becoming a bit of a franchise in the city.
You may be thinking, “What else do you like?” Well, I was going to tell you.
Our favorite for special occasions is Blue Duck Tavern. For Easter brunch, the menu is extensive and so tasty.
The local favorite is 8407 Kitchen Bar…located a block and a half from our house in Silver Spring. I’ve become fond of the Andouille Sausage and Shrimp Grits, topped with poached eggs from our favorite local grower, Evensong Farms. Yum, yum!
We’ve also enjoyed Matisse a couple of times this year, where I always order the beignets. Cashion’s Eats is on our list of regulars. Try Sammy’s Scrapple. (We know the Sammy in question. He’s a great cook and has a wonderful wife to boot.) And finally, I really enjoy Black Salt restaurant in Palisades. The Louisiana Poached Eggs are to die for!
We’ve been to many other restaurants this year…but these are the ones we’ve put on our “to be visited again” list. So tell us, DC-area readers, where should we go next Sunday?
More to come…