Because kitchens are so overworked on Mother’s Day, you might not find some of your favorites on the menu. Could it be that the special deals and fixed price menus are designed to make life easier for the chefs and servers, rather than you? No worries. Here are a handful of spots we trust to elevate the day and serve something a little different than your standard brunch fare.
For the indecisive mom - Michel Richard’s Citronelle
Are you having trouble figuring out what your mother wants? Well, it’s not cheap, but for $85 you can treat her to the area’s most pedigreed buffet. Michel Richard lays out a spread, with options ranging from rack of lamb with lamb jus and scrambled eggs to cold poached shrimp and oysters. Just make sure you save room for Richard’s superlative desserts. I’m especially coveting the eclairs and poached pear tarts.
For the procrastinating mom - Estadio
Do you have trouble nailing down specific plans with your mom? No biggie if you can’t decide on a time — one of the city’s most flavorful spots doesn't even take reservations. So if you’re comfortable with a bit of a wait, you’re all but guaranteed a (brunch or dinner) seat for Haidar Karoum’s take on Spanish small plates, like fried eggs with chorizo and morcilla hash and warm Spanish toast with walnut butter and maple syrup at brunch. The tapas-style plates at dinner includes the restaurant’s wonderful tortilla Espanol.
For the partying mom - the Passenger
If your family started celebrating a day early, brunch can be tough, but the Passenger has you covered. Brunch service doesn’t start until noon, but it runs till midnight and features some killer biscuits and gravy. And your hair of the dog options are one of the best in town. Mom’s headache will thank you.
For the ironic mom - IHop
Do you and your mom want to have a fun morning together while poking fun at the holiday conventions? You’ll probably be in good company at the Columbia Heights IHop.
For the mom who’s looking for something new - The Source
Are you over waffles? Is your mom bored to death of eggs and bacon? Introduce her to the new dim sum brunch at the Source by Wolfgang Puck. Scott Drewno’s modern take on the Chinese dining tradition includes pork belly dumplings, Maine lobster spring rolls and chili prawns with roasted bao. It’s one of the area’s most interesting brunch options.
For the red meat mom - Medium Rare
This new Cleveland Park establishment serves one thing, and one thing only: steak frites. If your mom is a hardcore carnivore, then spend some time dining with her over a plate of sirloin cap steak, cooked to order, and served with a heaping portion of bistro-style fries. And don’t be surprised when a second, just-fired portion is brought to the table as you finish off your first. Medium Rare’s one-item menu is available for both brunch and dinner.
For the vegetarian mom - Cafe Green
At the opposite end of the spectrum, there’s Cafe Green, which offers an all-vegan menu. Cafe Green’s chefs are still working on their menu for the day, and no price has been set, but a manager promised me that they would be doing something “very special” and that it’s going to be “crazy in here.”
For the four-star mom - Rasika
Executive Chef Vikram Sunderam presents an intriguing prix fixe brunch menu at one of the city’s most celebrated restaurants. For $45 per person, you and your mom can experience Sunderam’s famous palak chaat along with special fish curries and tandoori lamb wraps.
For my mom - Addie’s
If we weren’t already planning a big homemade feast, I would take my mom to Rockville for brunch. You never have to worry about the service in the come-as-you-are dining room, and the a la carte menu looks like a real knockout. House cured lamb hash with poached eggs and sauteed shrimp in a pepper-tomato butter sauce over herb grits and grilled ham? Yes, please.