By Cristina Marcos - 07/07/11 12:12 AM EDT
Emblematic of Old Town Alexandria’s quaint sophistication, Sunday brunch at the Grille at Morrison House is an experience of classic and intimate elegance.
The Grille, which is part of the four-star Morrison House hotel, simultaneously has the feel of home and a palace. Whether you’re staying in the hotel upstairs or are in the neighborhood on a leisurely Sunday morning, one thing is for certain: brunch should not be missed.
Chef Dennis Marron’s menu is a mélange of French and Southern comfort cuisine, combining Old Town’s colonial Virginia roots with an upscale French twist. With only light piano music playing in the background, the Grille is an ideal place for quiet, uninterrupted conversation. Settle into one of the cushy, red leather chairs for a relaxing and exquisite meal.
At the servers’ recommendation, start off the meal with homemade beignets, which arrive at the table fresh out of the oven. The warm, deep-fried pastries are melt-in-your-mouth delectable. The delicate cinnamon-and-sugar-coated crust gives way to the creamy dough inside. Topped with lightly sweet strawberry compote, the crusty-creamy combination is a trip to heaven for your palate.
But if the beignets still haven’t satisfied your sweet tooth, try the banana pancakes with crème fraîche and authentic Virginia maple syrup. The enormous pancakes arrive topped with a few slices of banana and a generous dusting of powdered sugar. And it gets better with every bite — the bananas baked into the center are a definite highlight.
Looking for less emphasis on the sweet? Try the Eggs Chesapeake: two poached eggs and Crab Norfolk atop two halves of an English muffin, doused in Old Bay Hollandaise sauce. While they are not unlike Eggs Benedict (which are also on the menu), crab trumps ham any day, with its delicate, crunchy texture. The creamy poached eggs combined with the crab and crisp English muffin are simply divine. Freshly grilled asparagus and hash browns with peppers and onions top off the eggs made the Chesapeake way.
A longtime favorite of residents and tourists, the Grille at Morrison House is a symbol of Old Town Alexandria’s charm: It’s sophisticated, historic — and exquisite. Enjoy.