I’ve mentioned before that my young adults group at church likes to do brunch (and happy hour). And we are serious about it – every month, we choose a restaurant, and we chow down while catching up socially and doing planning. This time, we even did some spiritual discussion. It was a very good event. Part of that was because we went to the most delightful little restaurant, one I hadn’t really heard about before. Not really – let me explain.
So, one of the fanciest restaurants near my hometown is called L’Auberge Chez François. It’s does French-Alsatian food, and it’s not cheap. Basically, this is the fancy place that you go if you’re rich, or for special occasions. In recent years it hasn’t topped the “best dining in DC” lists the way that it used to, but it’s still a place for special occasions. Well, it turns out that they have a more moderately priced option in their basement called Jacques’ Brasserie. It’s more informal in style and fare, which makes it a much better option for brunch if you’re in your 20s and 30s than the multi-course tasting menus that would be offered upstairs.
We also happened to visit on the most perfect fall day, so got to eat our brunch out in the garden patio, which was beautiful. But I can hear you saying, “GET TO THE FOOD – HOW WAS IT???”, so let’s continue. The brunch menu is fairly limited – especially if you’re not the biggest fan of eggs (though we were also offered the normal lunch menu, so if egg-y breakfast food is not your thing, you’ve got other options). I could have gotten an omelette and been ok, but they’re not necessarily my favorite. But if you like eggs benedict, you’re probably in the right place. I ended up choosing the quiche because a) I love a quiche, b) it seemed more brunch-y than ordering off the lunch menu and c) French brasserie – of course I’m getting a quiche. And it was real good. I also got a side of haricots verts, because nothing delights me more than skinny green beans with a fancy French name. One of my dining companions got the Crepes Suzette, and he loved them.
And because we are suckers who said to ourselves, “We didn’t spend hundreds of dollars on brunch by doing upstairs!”, we decided that some dessert was in order too. They had a special apple tart that day, which I ordered, and my companions got the dark chocolate tart. Nom nom – so good.
Can you tell that I’m now enamored? That I enjoyed myself thoroughly? I haven’t even mentioned how lovely our waiter was, and how professional and efficient the service. Having dined upstairs, I know what it’s like, and I can say without hesitation, that just because you’re at the Brasserie, you are treated like you are as valued a guest as upstairs. One of my friends also said that they do a terrific event at New Year’s Eve, so if you’re looking for a fun experience, this might be it. Will I go back? Definitely. We were already trying to figure out how soon would be too soon to reschedule this place for our church brunch. And would I recommend it to you my readers? In a heartbeat.