With Mom in Mind
Like Easter before it, Mother's Day is one of those holidays that's got everyone thinking brunch. Dutiful daughters, sons and husbands: use this guide to find a delicious meal for the mom in your lives. Mother's Day reservations fill up fast, so all the restaurants I called recommended reserving early so you don't get shut out on May 11.
With its Middle-Eastern fare, Lebanese Taverna isn't typically thought of as a brunch spot. Even so, the local chain's restaurants will be offering a four-course meal on the big day -- complete with choice of mezza, salad, entree and dessert. The desserts, which are relatively new to the Taverna's menu, include molten chocolate cake, a bread-pudding-esque dish called kaak and awamat (doughnuts drizzled in honey-saffron syrup). You could really impress Mom and score a free brunch for four by entering the essay contest, titled "My Mother Is the Best," (PDF) on the Lebanese Taverna Web site or at any LebTav outpost. Entries for the are due by Friday, May 2. Note that the brunch is only available at Lebanese Taverna restaurants, not the cafes.
Whisk your mother away to a Paris with a a trip to Tenleytown's Le Chat Noir. Brunchers at the cozy Parisian cafe choose between an appetizer-entree combo or an entree-dessert combo for $27 (including a glass of champagne). Even for a dedicated sweet tooth like me, this would be a tough call. Gazpacho or passionfruit sorbet? Pate or profiteroles? The 90-seat dining room is best for smaller parties.
The Majestic's endearing family-style Sunday meal is nothing new, but the menu changes each month. Buttermilk fried chicken, corn on the cob, mac and cheese, cole slaw and strawberry shortcake make up the menu, which will be served from 1 to 9 p.m. Parties of four pay $78 total (but additional guests can join the group for $25 a person). Less than four people? Expect to take home leftovers.
Get a taste of the south at Restaurant K by Alison Swope with an a la carte menu of items priced from $9.50 to $19.90. Fried-green tomatoes, chopped salads and other dishes make the menu, but I can personally vouch for the sweet banana bread French toast and the blue-crab quiche.
Mother's Day should really be all about the moms, but if you want to do something for your kid at the same time, try Cleveland Park's Sabores, which can be easily paired with a trip to the Zoo. The Latin-American spot serves dishes like chorizo omelets, pupusas and French toast in addition to champagne. Dishes range between $4 and $15.
With its gorgeous setting on the Potomac, Indigo Landing seems like a perfect fit for moms. The restaurant welcomes a new chef this year, and while I miss some of the dishes on the old menu, a recent Sunday brunch visit proved mighty successful. A jazz trio played near an elaborate buffet spread with pastries, bagels, fruit and salad fixings. We had the option of choosing crab-filled omelets, Belgian waffles or lunch-like dishes like a jerk-chicken melted sandwich. On Mother's Day, the $25 price includes an entree from the a la carte menu, champagne or a mimosa and unlimited trips to the breakfast and dessert buffets. (On regular days, the champagne treats cost extra.)
Cardamom, cilantro and other Indian flavors come together at Penn Quarter's Rasika from 11 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. on Mother's Day. Options like anise, dill and honey-flavored black cod, lamb seekh kabob and chai-misu are part of the $35 fixed-price menu.
Oysters, carved prime rib and pastries are among the many goodies on the buffet at the Kennedy Center's Roof Terrace Restaurant. The fees are $39.95 for adults and $20 for children. Only a few reservations are still available.
Moms and mothers-to-be can score a complimentary tea or sparking wine and a carnation on a visit to Ping by Charlie Chiang's on Mother's Day. The four-course menu, a steal at $16.95 per person, includes a cold appetizer, a hot appetizer, an entree and a dessert. Don't expect breakfast-like fare here; the savory menu of sushi rolls, gyoza and shredded pork is available from noon until 10 p.m.
Jackie's in Silver Spring offers extended hours on the holiday, dishing up traditional brunch dishes from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Details of the menu were scant early this week, but one thing we do know for certain: spring ingredients will be in abundance. "We'll be showing off some of the fresh stuff that's coming in," says Chef Sam Adkins. A mimosa special is also in the works.
The Mother's Day menu at Vermillion is also yet to be determined, but if the restaurant's regular weekend brunch is any indication, the boudoir-ish Old Town spot is a perfect place for Mom. Chilled pea soup with shrimp sung with crisp flavors of spring. Scallops, which were crisp on the outside and tender on the inside, melded with smoky greens and creamy butternut squash puree. Like Majestic, the restaurant's location is also key here; after brunch, the Old Town antique shops await.
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