For Mr. X-sXe’s birthday, we went to the all-you-can-eat brunch at the Roof Terrace Restaurant at the Kennedy Center. The reviews I’d seen were mixed, but a friend mentioned she was pleasantly surprised when she went last year, so we took our chances.
If you look to your left as you enter the restaurant, you’ll notice an entire room of desserts. Let me repeat: an entire roomful. Not just that, but the mirrored walls and dim lighting create the illusion that the spread is larger than it actually is.
Side note: The curious thing about this brunch buffet overall is that none of the food is in the dining room, apart from the omelette station. The main buffet was also off in a separate area–the restaurant kitchen, which was cool to see. As far as whether the brunch is worth trying, you’ll definitely get your money’s worth if you like seafood. There are raw oysters (tasted pretty fresh to me), crab legs (didn’t try), smoked salmon (very good), etc. The antipastis were also tasty, running the gamut from grilled artichokes to cured meats. If you like fresh fruit, there was a great selection of berries to go with your pancakes/French toast/waffles.
What wasn’t so great was their breads and roasted meats. After one bite of a biscuit, I decided the other bite wasn’t worth eating; the roast beef required some serious gnawing to get it down. The tiny muffins were pretty sad-looking. I was also disappointed that the eggs in the eggs benedict were fully cooked, though I suppose there are food safety reasons for that.
But back to our main topic of conversation, the desserts. The smaller bite-sized ones included:
- cheesecake lollipops
- fruit tarts
- soggy eclairs
The larger ones were:
- 2 types of chocolate cake. One was a dense dark chocolate, probably my favorite of everything I tried. The other was disgustingly sweet, with a frosting-like consistency.
- bread pudding
- creme brulee, Mr. X-sXe’s pick. (Our theory is that they just took the flan and put a caramelized sugar crust on it, since the two tasted so similar.)
- pecan pie
There were also wine glasses of chocolate pudding, which tasted too strongly of cocoa powder. And a couple other options that escape my memory.
Surprisingly, the most thrilling part of the dessert room was just being in it, taking in the beautiful presentation. Apart from the chocolate cake and creme brulee, we didn’t have any reason to go back for seconds. But such is the nature of these all-you-can-eat things. By the time you get around to dessert, you’re already feeling sick. So strategize accordingly, and pace yourself.