Sunday, December 04, 2011

and it comes with a slice of cantaloupe at the end

I had brunch/lunch today with my aunt and uncle at Seasons in the Four Seasons Georgetown. This has become something of a tradition for us; they're usually in town the first weekend in December, and I meet them that Sunday morning. In the past, however, we've met early, for breakfast. Now, I love hotel breakfast, particularly at a hotel with good restaurants like the Four Seasons (they make an excellent Eggs Florentine that I always order). But we're always there while the restaurant sets up its incredibly elaborate brunch, and I'm always a little curious about the extensive offerings.

This year, my aunt told me she'd made a reservation for noon. Score! I thought. Brunch!

That said, I'm not the average DC (or NYC, or LA) bruncher. Brunch in these towns seems to occur at 1, 2, even 3 p.m., but that just doesn't work for my body because I just can't comfortably sleep late; unless I'm ill, 9 a.m. never sees me still in bed, and even 8 a.m. has started to feel decadent. And I'm also a breakfast-eater (one of my favorite meals, any time of day) who can't wait five or six hours after awakening to have something.

But, no matter. Brunch, lunch, schmunch -- it was just a midday meal that would be a treat. I had my normal small breakfast this morning, and hit the gym, looking forward to sampling a bit of everything at lunchtime.

And sample I did, having small servings of the Dill-Marinated Salmon; the Korean Grilled Octopus with Green Onion Salad; the Fried Okra Salad with Marinated Tomatoes, Onions and BaconArugula with Duck Confit, Dried Cherries, Spiced Pecans and Maple Vinaigrette (I cannot pass up duck confit, ever); and a few Smoked Crimini Mushrooms.


The cured salmon was buttery and full of flavor, while the octopus was nicely spicy and not at all overcooked (chewy, not rubbery). Bites of crisp-fried okra played nicely off the smoky bacon and vinegary tomatoes, while the lightly-dressed arugula salad had peppery crunch and sweetness to marry the duck's meaty richness. And I'm a sucker for a mushroom, and these had a nice full flavor to round things out.

My aunt and uncle delved even further, with a made-to-order omelet, some crab cakes, more smoked salmon and other items from the extensive raw bar (oysters, ceviche, shrimp, crab claws, crab salad), cheese from the cheese and charcuterie station ... I think the only place we didn't get to was the dessert table, probably because who could eat dessert after all that?

I'm not usually a fan of a buffet, but Seasons really has this one down pat, refreshing the salads and prepared dishes almost continually, and cooking many items to order. The layout in the room also facilitates movement, so it was never crowded or distracting. The entire meal was quite lovely -- company, of course, included.

The hotel is always decorated for the holidays with trees designed by local artists for charities, and the festive air is just part of the package, because I have looked forward every year to getting to spend a nice morning with my aunt and uncle as my start of the holiday season. And for the last DC rendezvous we'll have, well, we went out on a hight note.

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