Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Jardenea Restaurant Breakfast Review

The Atlantic at Jardenea Restaurant

I'm a city boy at heart (hence my DC residency) but that doesn't mean I'm not intrigued by farm fresh options while dining out. Executive Chef Nate Lindsay provides fresh (and only fresh) at one of my new favorite breakfast spots... Jardenea Restaurant, inside the Melrose Hotel in Georgetown. As you might expect from its exclusive address on Pennsylvania Avenue (and recently renovated digs) Jardenea provides a deluxe dining experience, capped off by one of the freshest (not to mention tasty) AM meals I've had in a long time.

It starts with a warm & hearty greeting from not one, but two guys named William... one of whom escorts me to a cozy corner table away from the crowd (I like this place already.) If you didn't feel good about yourself coming in, spend five minutes with the staff at Jardenea and you'll feel like a million bucks after. Everyone here is friendly and professional, full of stories and dead-on recommendations. It doesn't hurt that everything on the menu is farm-to-fork and delicious sounding; but nothing makes a meal go down better than top-notch service.

Sliced Seasonal Fruit Plate

The atmosphere at Jardenea matches the service, beginning with cool, nondescript music that immediately puts you in a good mood. You're surrounded by dark grays and warm browns, and a series of gorgeous screens that break the dining area into three separate areas. Add spotless to the list, and you have a pretty good idea of what I'm talking about. Each table is roomy and adorned with Dickinson jams and preserves (my favorite) and the chairs are extra comfy. What more could you ask for?

How about "Big William" (the Director of Food and Beverage) who dances around the sprawling dining area, charming everyone he meets? He doesn't just stop by to "check in," he wants to make sure you're having the ultimate time, while in his care. You don't teach that type of service... either you have it or you don't: William has it.

The breakfast menu is loaded with options, although I decided to keep it simple... opting for an American Breakfast (The Atlantic) in order to test all the staple items. I couldn't resist a plate of fresh fruit (Sliced Seasonal Fruit Plate) which came out first, and could easily have filled me (for just $12.) Blackberries, blueberries, melons, pineapple, raspberries, strawberries... all incredibly fresh, moist and tasty. I ran over to Trader Joe's after, to buy some blackberries (they were good, but not as good as these.)

Street view

Make sure to take advantage of Jardenea's Endless Juice option for only $5. Choose from Freshly Squeezed Florida Orange Juice, Grapefruit Juice, Apple, Tomato, V8, Pineapple or Cranberry. I went with the former, and both glasses were stellar. Refills (I was given Voss still water as well) are immediate and provided seamlessly. I was also asked if I was ready to move on to my entree... a wonderful gesture, I wish other top hotels and restaurants would mirror.

Interior view

The Atlantic is simple fare, but perfectly prepared and presented. I'd be lying if I told you I'd prefer it over more exciting options such as Griddled Buttermilk Pancakes with your choice of Granola, Pecans, Chocolate Chips, Blueberries or all of the above; or the Benedict Bar, where you can wrestle over such versions as Grilled Canadian Bacon, Grilled Natural Petit Filet, Scottish Smoked Salmon, Maryland Jumbo Lump Crab and Wilted Spinach and Tomatoes... but I'm a creature of habit. The eggs were cooked perfectly, and the Cast Iron Seared Home Fries are hands down... the best potatoes in town. Their bacon is fine, but I regret not trying Chef Lindsay's Breakfast Sausage instead. White toast was ordinary (opt for Multigrain) and the $17 cost is a tad high; but one bite of an expertly seasoned slice of tomato is enough to rewrite your will for: I could eat a plate of 'em, and walk away satisfied.

I had a great breakfast, and even better "dining experience." Lunch and/or dinner will give me a better idea of Chef Lindsay's much ballyhooed menu. Bell and Evans Chicken & Biscuits... Kataifi Wrapped Shrimp & Grits? I'm salivating already. In the meantime, add Jardenea to my list of Top 5 Breakfasts in the Washington Metropolitan area.

Jardenea serves breakfast, seven days a week from 6:30 - 11:00 AM. Click here to make a reservation online.