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Maestro brunch report

DC in DC | Dec 16, 2005 03:49 PM

After enjoying many dinners at Maestro in recent years, I recently took the plunge and tried their Sunday brunch. I was apprehensive but, as it turned out, I needn't have been.

I can sum it up in two words: (1) Wow. (2) Ouch.

It's very good, but very expensive.

For the princely sum of $61 per person (yes, you read that right) you get to wander through Fabio's kitchen (he's nowhere in sight, though) and pluck treats off the various stations set up throughout. Options included caviar and blini, small plates of seared tuna and beef carpaccio, chestnut salad (which quickly became a favorite at our table), soup (it probably changes seasonally - this time it was squash), carved roast beef, made-to-order crepes, made-to-order omelettes, all the regular breakfast-type dishes like brioche french toast, bacon, sausage, eggs benedict, mini-fritattas, fresh pastries of all kinds, etc. They have a cheese bar with 12 or 15 selections plus several kinds of honey. There's a whole aisle of savory entrees including several different preparations of fish, pastas, and meats. They have a seafood bar with as many raw oysters, shrimp, and crab legs as you can eat. (We tried to set a record with crab legs.) And they have 20 or so different dessert options - including chocolate souffle made to order.

What pleased me most - aside from the very wide variety - was the quality of the food. I'm the first to rail against almost any buffet because it inevitably sacrifices quality for quantity (cruise-ship syndrome). Not here. Everything we tasted was at least very good - and in some cases, really excellent.

Brunch also comes with free-flowing sparkling wine and orange juice, plus coffee or tea.

Ambience was lovely, as anyone who's been to Maestro can report. Service was a definite notch down from dinnertime - but still pretty good.

A final word: the folks who prepare Maestro brunch are NOT the same staff that prepares dinner. It's a Ritz-Carlton operation that's served in the Maestro space.

So the price is dear, and it's certainly an indulgence, but if you're looking for a place to celebrate a special occasion or just treat yourself, I recommend it.

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