Washington Prime opened just a few months ago to rave reviews and a steady stream of satisfied customers as a result of the visions of owners Robb Moss and Marco Siguenza and the creative innovations of Chef Jared Falco. This past Sunday, at the request of many of their patrons, Washington Prime decided to do something new – the Sunday Prime Brunch Buffet where, for $29.90, you can select from a complimentary Mimosa, Bloody Mary or Moscow Mule as you indulge from an incredible buffet. Select from a raw bar, artisanal cheeses, salads, a prime rib and omelet station as well as the traditional fare - a selection of bacon, sausages, French toast, Eggs Benedict, miniature bagels with smoked salmon and the works, assorted pastries and Danishes, yogurt, granola and fresh fruit.
As I walked in I was immediately taken with the selection of food and how it was displayed. Falco and his crew have brought the standard buffet to a new level. It was apparent to me that much thought had gone into the presentation.
I surveyed the goodies and decided that I would start with the raw bar and a couple of the cheeses. I love all seafood and happen to adore oysters. I can tell a good from a mediocre, a mediocre from a bad. The oysters were divine, fresh, succulent and sweet. On the side was a selection of cocktail sauce, mignonette, horseradish and lemon from which to choose. They really needed nothing, but I love cocktail sauce and horseradish on mine. The clams were tender and fresh and the shrimp were incredibly succulent. I really enjoyed my cheese selections as well, though forgot to note which ones I had taken. As much as I wanted second and third helpings from the raw bar, I knew I had to save room so I could try a few more things. While I did not venture over to the omelet or prime rib stations, the consensus at our table was very favorable.
I passed by the salads and made a bee-line over to the traditional brunch fare. I piled my plate with bacon, sausage, hash-browns and Eggs Benedict, all of which are my favorites. As I was trying to pace myself and watch my girlish figure I indulged in just a few bites of each. The bacon was cooked perfectly. I like mine quite crispy. The sausage, too, was very good. The potatoes, a mix of white and blue baby potatoes that were a delightful combination of buttery and crispy and very well-seasoned. The Eggs Benedict was cooked to perfection with soft runny centers and a light and airy Hollandaise that looked as though it had been freshly made when they brought it out. I didn’t love the pork belly that was served in lieu of the traditional Canadian bacon. It was easy enough to remove. If you haven’t piled enough onto your plate at this point, you can also have a mini bagel with cream cheese or butter, smoked salmon, diced onion and tomatoes.
While I tend to stay away from the sweeter options, everyone at our table was raving over the French toast. Not wanting to miss out on a thing, I grabbed a slice and drizzled some Maple syrup over the top of it. How different could this really be? It was. The raisins and cinnamon, along with the syrup make this a French toast to be reckoned with!
For those of you who have yet to visit Washington Prime, it’s more than a restaurant it’s an experience. The wide open, U shaped bar welcomes and greets patrons as they enter the establishment. The interior has a modern industrial feel combined with an element that is both warm and inviting. The high ceilings give the restaurant a spacious feel while the warm woods and moss covered walls and booths lend themselves to create a warm and nature-like ambiance which seems to echo the popular trend of bringing the outside in. The tables stand beside the tall floor to ceiling windows, offering great natural lighting and a panoramic view of the harbor. Outside, plenty of comfortable oversized wicker seating awaits those wishing for a more relaxed setting. On this particular Sunday, as we brunched, looking out on to the water, we were quite taken with the music, a selection of old jazz favorites, that added yet another perfect layer to our relaxing Sunday brunch. Sports addicts, fear not, there are plenty of televisions around to cheer on your favorite team.
In conclusion, what can I say? Washington Prime does it again – They take a classic, put their own stamp on it, making it fresh and new.