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Power breakfast

Close the deal over coffee and Eggs Benedict at these five restaurants.

  • Updated 09/17/2012
  • 5 Items
 
 
1.

White leather chairs and illuminated displays of wine beneath a baronial ceiling create a setting that is at once cool and comfortable. Warm and peppery gougeres and a gratis tease from the chef at the start of dinner hint of good things to come from the kitchen, whose muse is the celebrated French chef Alain Ducasse. Sometimes they do, but sometimes I leave my meals here wishing for a touch more finesse.

2.

Named after the lodging place in Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales," the business dates to 1922, but the kitchen, under executive chef Paul Pelt, is very much of the moment. Packaged in a low ceiling and black-and-while tile floor, the main dining room proves cramped and clattery. I prefer the cozier space upstairs or, better yet, the enclosed garden if the weather allows. The inn's address, on a quiet, tree-lined street near Dupont Circle, gives it the air of a well-kept secret. The occupied couches in the firelit lounge tell you otherwise: You'd better have a reservation.

3.

This spacious restaurant, in the Park Hyatt, focuses on farm-fresh American fare in an airy setting. Sebastien Archambaul, the Texas-born, French-speaking chef takes prime ingredients and turns them into dishes that you can't wait to return for: crisp sweetbreads gathered over creamy macaroni, lemony spinach-ricotta tartlet, roasted suckling pig that collapses at the touch of the fork, and salmon that elevates the fish from the routine with the assistance of smoked orange roe, sorrel cream and green almond. The best (but also the noisiest) seats face the open kitchen. En route to your table, you pass the dessert station. After seeing the fat apple tarts, it's hard to pass on them.

4.

Cousin to Dupont's serene teahouse, this location surprised us with its fine breakfast; don't pass up the ginger scones. The chainlet also serves in Penn Quarter and Old Town Alexandria.

5.

This restaurant in the Hay-Adams Hotel overlooks Lafayette Square and the White House. Hence the presence of so many movers and shakers at breakfast in particular. Contemporary American cuisine is served in a classic setting.

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