Spring appears to be the season of brunch with all the news we’ve been hearing of menu debuts. And, we have to admit that we’re absolutely fine with that. Getting us out of the house in the morning on a cold day is a “No-way. No-how. Nope. Ain’t happening.” sort of thing. Who needs to eat in Winter anyway? Just give us a cup o’ joe in bed and be on your way. Include a bagel with a schmear of cream cheese and honey if you’re feeling generous.
Nearly 3 weeks ago Malmaison, a little French fine-dining restaurant in a stunningly refurbished historic warehouse, began offering brunch service. We were immediately drawn in by the plentiful natural light, airy and open layout, comfortable seating, semi-casual atmosphere, friendly service, and even the purple and white color scheme. Located on Georgetown’s Waterfront, it’s a prime location for everything. View of the waterfront: check. Ample parking: check. Accessible by bike path: check. Walking distance from the metro: eh… close enough.
Diners can expect a varying menu that includes everything from French-influenced dishes including Piperade “Basquaise,” Crepe “Bernadotte” with Smoked Salmon and Asparagus and Croque Monsieur. Or, you could be like us and opt for the more traditional brunch dishes which include Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes, and Eggs Benedict with either turkey or smoked salmon. (Salmon. Get the smoked salmon.)
Of course the house Bloody Mary dubbed appropriately “The Morning After” is a drink staple, but Malmaison has upped the anti regarding cocktail offerings to include Aperol Negroni (Aperol, Lillet Blanc & Gin Topped with Champagne & Flamed Orange), Bubbly Bun (Cinnamon Infused Whiskey, Maple Syrup, Champagne & Flamed Orange), and something called the Sweet Patooti. If bottomless brunch cocktails are an option, that’s what we’re going for. We like to drink without judgement early on in the day, and brunch is the optimal time for that. Malmaison offers two bottomless champagne cocktail options; Two In The Pink (Raspberry Infused Vodka & Champagne Garnished with Chocolate Dipped Raspberry) and Suma Deez (Coconut Infused Vodka & Champagne Garnished with Chocolate & Coconut).
We loved the simplicity yet fantastic execution, and generous size of our brunch dishes. The Jumbo Lump Crab Cake was seasoned perfectly and melted in your mouth. The salad with a light vinaigrette and potatoes complimented the crab cake and left one feeling satisfied without overly heavy. (We’ll always pick red potatoes for just about anything.) If you’re super hungry, you can order a double crab cake instead of a single. The Eggs Benedict was perfect. We usually avoid eggs benedict because there are a dozen things we prefer, but Malmaison impressed us. The hollandaise sauce was lighter and frothier than we expected, the egg yolk runny the way it should be, and the asparagus was just right. And, again we loved the red potatoes on the side. We capped off our brunch with an order of Crépe with Pear and Chocolate and Beignets. Just because it’s brunch doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be dessert. Both were delicious. Our only preference would have been the pear slices just being a smidge softer. But we’re pretty sure that’s just a texture thing on our part. Perhaps next time we’ll try the Crépe with Cherries, Pistachio Almond Cream, or the Brioche French Toast.
We were completely endeared by Malmaison’s brunch service, and are now curious to know what their dinner service is like. The food was great, and the atmosphere aesthetically pleasing. We’re not sure what else to say other than we gave it two thumbs up and can’t wait to go back.
3401 K Street, NW
Washington DC 20007