Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Out to Brunch: RIS

By:  Jennifer Duff
Capital Cooking Contributor

Initial Thoughts:
  • Design and Decor - Bright and airy with lots of natural light and a simple, "white linen tablecloth" decor
  • Food - Nouveau American style menu with a focus on small plates
  • Drinks - Great for brunch, bottomless mimosas and delicious bloody marys
  • Service -  Attentive and helpful with menu suggestions
  • Would I go back? Yes, but only if I had extra money to throw around!

I love going to different restaurants to try out their brunch menus.  Brunch is truly my favorite meal of the day because you can get any variation on breakfast, lunch or dinner and enjoy it with delicious cocktails (all before noon if you want!).  Since we were lucky enough to be 'sans children' one Sunday morning, we went RIS and try out their brunch (the different mimosa selections sealed the deal for me).

The restaurant decor is clear and simple with floor to ceiling windows to let in lots of natural light - perfect for a Sunday morning brunch.  We arrived early so we did not have to wait for a table and the restaurant wasn't crowded. A nice change from other brunch locations which are packed and loud on Sunday mornings.  Not the way I prefer to start my day.  

To start, I ordered a coffee and a pomegranate spice mimosa.  The mimosa was delicious, a refreshing change from the standard "orange juice and champagne" and not too sweet.  A light and bubbly treat to start off brunch.

RIS had lots of 'small plates' on its brunch menu including variations on eggs benedict -- all of which looked yummy.  But I was starving, and no small plate was going to do it for me, so on to the 'big girl plates.' I opted for the Huevos Rancheros -- I figured if that didn't fill me, nothing will.  
The preparation and plating of the huevos rancheros was perfect, lightly fried eggs on top of corn tortillas with black beans, rancheros sauce, calasparra rice, queso blanco served with a side of chorizo.  The chorizo was spicy and delicious with the eggs and rancheros sauce.  The calasparra rice and black beans were a filling, but not too heavy base for the eggs.  It was a spicy, flavorful dish.         

Since it was brunch, the sky was the limit, and we decided to order some dessert.  I selected the warm, chocolate bread pudding topped with caramel ice cream.  All I could think about was warm, gooey chocolate bread pudding and when it arrived at the table, I was super excited.

Then I was a little disappointed.  The dessert LOOKED awesome.  The drizzle of chocolate...The little chocolate swizzle sticks...  The raspberries and mint...  All signs pointed to chocolate deliciousness.  And then.... MEH.  It was okay.  I don't know, something was missing and I can't put my finger on it but it just did not have the sweet and sinful flavor I was expecting.  It was sort of bland.  And by all accounts, it should not have been. 

Overall, we had a good brunch at RIS - the cocktails and the main course offerings were really good.  I think the dessert was just a fluke.  I will say that it was a little on the pricey side -- the tab for brunch was over $100.  So my recommendation is, if you are in the area, try brunch at RIS... and bring an empty tummy and a full wallet.        

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