Sunday brunch in DC can mean many different things. There is casual Sunday brunch at spots like the Royal, where you order coffee and arepas and linger for hours with your friends. There are bottomless brunch options at places like Masa 14 where you eat and drink and eat and drink…and then drink some more. And there are the fine dining brunch choices at venues like the ever elegant Lafayette, where The Hay-Adams brunch takes place. Each one of these brunches has its time and place. When there is an occasion for an upscale brunch, look no further than The Lafayette…it is an unparalleled experience.

Pastries from The Hay-Adams Brunch
Pastries from The Hay-Adams Brunch

The Scene

As you arrive at The Hay-Adams brunch, the white tablecloths, pristine dining room, and enchanting live piano music set the stage for a spectacular afternoon. In the center of the room are two tables, one laden with savory appetizers and the other brimming with sweet treats. As you are seated, you will be offered a glass of champagne from you warm and friendly server, which of course you should accept! From there, the culinary ride begins.

The Hay-Adams Brunch
The Hay-Adams Brunch:

The Food and Drinks

While you sip your glass of champagne you will have time to peruse The Hay-Adams brunch menu, which features items like eggs benedict, lemon ricotta pancakes, oatmeal soufflé and pappardelle with mushrooms and truffles. Once you place your order, it’s time to hit the appetizer buffet! My husband and I went to town. Oysters, asparagus salad with perfectly cooked egg yolks, crostini with avocado mousse and Romanesco, glistening tomato and mozzarella salad, greens with housemade dressing, half a dozen cheeses, croissants, apple turnovers, baguettes, muffins, and cinnamon rolls, and more.

More Food…

After you stuff yourself silly, your main courses will arrive! My husband treated himself to perfectly cooked eggs and potatoes, while I enjoyed light, fluffy lemon ricotta pancakes, dusted with powdered sugar and served with a mini bottle of maple syrup. As your champagne glass is refilled once more you will find yourself slowly entering into a blissful food coma, but alas you cannot miss the chance to indulge in the dessert buffet.
My husband made a plate of macaroons, but I went all out. Mini key lime pies, teacups of crème brulee, and shot glasses of chocolate mousse. The lemon meringue was divine, and the chocolate cake was even better. There is no shortage of decadent sweets at The Hay-Adams brunch.

The Dessert Bar at The Hay-Adams Brunch
The Dessert Bar at The Hay-Adams Brunch

The Hay-Adams Brunch: The Verdict

The only problem with The Hay-Adams brunch? You won’t ever want to brunch anywhere else! At $90 it is a hefty price tag for brunch, but for a romantic escape or a treat for a special occasion, this is the spot for you.