Brunch at Viridian

There are several “new” restaurants that I’ve been wanting to try for so long that they are now no longer really to be classified as “new” – Viridian has been at the top of the list for a while and I finally had a reason to go today for brunch after a gallery visit with friends.

A few doors down from Studio Theater at the epicenter of 14th and P, Viridian takes advantage of expansive windows and clean mimimal decor to really fit into the gallery aesthetic that is fast taking over that once sad corner of DC. It has a sort of airy, upscale feel undercut by the artistic types wandering in from the galleries and the theater, a place where little old ladies in fur and tattoo-ed urbanites mingle peacefully. At least, this afternoon!

I’m not sure how well the seemingly vast space translates at night, but it made for a pleasant brunch experience, basking in the sun streaming in through those wide windows. There’s a good selection of classic cocktails to ease into your morning- Bloody Mary, Mimosa, Bellini – and a menu covering kicked-up basics like build-your-own omelet or vanilla french toast, then branching out into intriguing selections such as blue crab with grits or smoked trout sandwich. There’s an emphasis on fresh, local, organic – the new buzzwords around here of late in the DC restaurant revolution.

We were pleased with everything we ordered and happy enough to want to return to try dinner, but I hate to say the service, though extremely friendly, was a bit lacking on the uptake – it was by no means crowded and I saw more than one diner craning their necks around vainly trying to meet a server’s eye. One of our party had to wait quite a bit for her simple salad while the three others were served first, explained as due to “computer trouble.”

Oh well, we weren’t too annoyed due to the fact that everything was good, we were enjoying each other’s company, and it was a lazy afternoon. Nothing like art, alcohol, and breakfast food to detox from a stressful week…

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