Best Brunches for DC Winter Restaurant Week

Best Brunches for DC Winter Restaurant Week

Le Clou, a new French restaurant from Nick Stefanelli, joins Restaurant Week with a brasserie menu and DJ. Photograph courtesy of Le Clou

Brunch is arguably the best deal of DC’s Winter Restaurant Week. Most places offer $25 for three courses (or two and a drink), and there’s no rush to get back to work like a weekday lunch. As always, add-ons like booze can make it less of a steal; But in the age of $18 cocktails, those $20 bottomless mimosas feel indulgent in the right way. Here’s where we’d book (the earlier the better) for a Saturday or Sunday funday.

Bar Chinois serves Restaurant Week brunch with optional bottomless drinks. Photograph courtesy of Bar Chinois
Bar Chinois serves Restaurant Week brunch with optional bottomless drinks. Photograph courtesy of Bar Chinois.

Bar Chinois
455 I St., NW
Mt. Vernon Triangle’s neon-lit bar—specializing in Chinese dishes and French cocktails—offers plenty of dim sum-style plates for Restaurant Week. We like the sound of French-onion-and-beef gyoza, breakfast fried rice, and desserts like matcha creme brulee. There’s also a $20 bottomless option with your choice of mimosas, select beers, and Stateside vodka spritzes. 

Belga Cafe
514 8th St., SE
Chef Bart Vandaele’s Beglian mainstay on Capitol Hill offers a complete breakfast for its Restaurant Week deal: a choice of beverage (i.e. coffee, mimosa), entrees such as Nutella crepes or buttermilk fried chicken and waffles, and panna cotta for dessert.

Chiko Dupont
2029 P St., NW
If you’re looking for a casual meal—or afternoon takeout—Dupont’s Chinese-Korean spot fits the $25 bill. Choose appetizers like dumplings or a refreshing avocado salad, mains such as a crispy Szechuan chicken sandwich or cumin lamb stir fry noodles, and a non-alcoholic beverage. Beer ($5), wine ($7), and cocktails ($8) are just a bit extra.

Il Piatto in downtown DC. Photograph courtesy of Il Piatto.

Il Piatto
900 16th St., NW
This Italian restaurant near the White House feels fancy (it’s in the old, mostly unchanged, Mirabelle space), but the vibe is more casual. Chef Lina Nicolai, a Naples native who ran Al Crostino in Shaw for over a decade, turns out Restaurant Week brunch dishes like Florentine Benedicts, tiramisu French toast, or Italian-style shakshuka. There’s also a group-friendly spritz kit ($34.95) with a bottle of bubbles, Aperol, and mixers.

Le Clou
222 M St., NE 
The latest splashy restaurant from Masseria/Officina chef Nicholas Stefanelli lands in the Morrow boutique hotel near Union Market. The upscale French brasserie just launched weekend brunch with classic dishes like croque madames, lobster Benedicts, and quiche Lorraine. A brunch DJ makes things even more of a party, as do several tiers of bottomless Champagne, ranging from $75 to $350. The bubbles aren’t priced for Restaurant Week, but at least you can save on the food? 

Le Clou, a new Nick Stefanelli restaurant, goes glam with shellfish plateaus and brasserie fare. Photograph courtesy of Le Clou
Le Clou, a new Nick Stefanelli restaurant, goes glam with shellfish plateaus and brasserie fare. Photograph courtesy of Le Clou.

Lulu’s Wine Garden
1940 11th St., NW
This Southwestern-inspired wine garden near U Street joins dine-in Restaurant Week for the first time. A house mimosa kicks things off, followed by a choice of egg sandwiches, chilaquiles, or “fluffy cakes” with berry compote. For dessert: Texas-style sheet cake with confetti frosting. Two heater and chimney-lined patios are available for winter garden dining, weather permitting.

Mariscos 1133
1133 11th St., NW
Chef Alfredo Solis’s coastal-style Mexican spot in Shaw joins Restaurant Week with a lengthy brunch menu. Pick appetizers like ceviches or lobster-crab guacamole, entrees such as Mexican-style shrimp and grits or Latin-style po’ boys, and churros with warm chocolate dipping sauce for dessert.

Mi Vida
98 District Sq., SW; 1901 14th St NW
Giant tree sculptures with technicolor blooms, roomy patios, and tasty mango margaritas are signatures of these mod-Mexican spots at the Wharf and, more recently, 14th Street. Both serve daily lunch menus (including on MLK Day and the following weekend), with dishes from chef Roberto Santibañez such as guacamole with housemade chips, skirt steak tacos, chicken enchiladas, sides like rice and beans, and churros for dessert.

Moon Rabbit serves a weekend lunch menu for Restaurant Week. Photograph by Rey Lopez
Moon Rabbit serves a weekend lunch menu for Restaurant Week. Photograph by Rey Lopez.

Moon Rabbit
801 Wharf St., SW
Chef Kevin Tien’s French-Vietnamese dining room at the Wharf is serving an enticing lunch, the whole week, in lieu of brunch. The menu is small yet interesting, with options like lemongrass pork meatballs, a banh mi-style smash burger, and Szechuan chili noodles. We’re tempted by the Saigon cinnamon snickerdoodle with a shot of coconut horchata for dessert.

Muchas Gracias
5029 Connecticut Ave., NW
Savor a Mexican breakfast, dine-in or takeout, from this Upper Northwest spot. Complimentary chips and homemade salsa join apps like a warming pozole rojo soup, followed by entree choices like a chorizo and egg burrito or short rib birria tacos. For dessert: tres leches cake. Both dine-in and to-go are $25.

11960 Democracy Dr., Reston
This seafood-focused spot in Reston Town Center offers a bounty of choice for Restaurant Week brunch. Nearly a dozen appetizers (crab-and-shrimp spring rolls, spicy salmon rolls) are followed by mains like shrimp n’ grits and and eggs Chesapeake with crabcakes. Brunch is only offered on Sunday, but you’ll find similar options at lunch.

Pennyroyal Station, a cozy New American restaurant, opens in Mt. Rainier. Photography by Amanda Hoey
Pennyroyal Station, a cozy New American restaurant in Mt. Rainier, serves American comfort fare. Photograph by Amanda Hoey.

Pennyroyal Station
3310 Rhode Island Ave., Mt Rainier
Chef Jesse Miller’s American comfort food spot offers Restaurant Week brunch for the first time—and based on their regular brunch offerings, we’re enticed. The homey restaurant—a historic former Singer Building—sets a nice backdrop for plates like shrimp n’ grits, braised pork chilaquiles, and a vegan tofu scramble.

1001 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
The high-end Indian replacement for  Punjab Grill is one of the few fine dining spots offering Restaurant Week brunch. The three-course menu showcases dishes like ash-roasted sweet potato chaat with trout roe, wild mushroom uttapam, and parsi chicken with a masala egg. Diners can also add bottomless mimosas for $25.

1110 N. Glebe Rd, Arlington
Restaurant Week menus are the same for lunch and brunch as they are for dinner at this Spanish spot in Ballston—so why not take advantage of the $25 version? Three courses yield warming offerings like mushroom soup topped with crispy jamon, grilled hanger steak with seasonal vegetables, and a Spanish-style French toast for dessert. There’s an optional $25 wine pairing, too.

Cheesy khachupuri with eggs at Supra. Photograph courtesy of Supra.

Shilling Canning Company
360 Water St., SE
Chef Reid Shilling and wife Sara are behind this warm Mid-Atlantic restaurant in Navy Yard.  Plates are typically thoughtful and unfussy. At brunch, you can expect the likes of homemade breads and pastries; French onion soup with homemade sourdough and Lancaster-produced onions and gruyere; and buttermilk-fried Amish chicken.

1205 11th St., NW
This Georgian restaurant in Shaw serves a seasonal brunch with options like khacho cakes (ricotta pancakes with berries), Georgian-style shakshuka, and of course, homemade khachupuri cheese breads. More casual sister restaurant Tabla in Park View is also serving Restaurant Week brunch with a variety of vegetable dishes, khachupuri and “other brunchy bites,” plus complimentary doughnuts for every table.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.