When the Corcoran Gallery of Art announced it would be taken over by the National Gallery of Art and George Washington University, Todd Gray's Muse was forced to close. Offering the only all-vegan brunch in DC, we all feared this would be the end. Well, fear not, my friends. I am pleased to report that the vegan brunch is in full-swing at their other restaurant, Equinox, so it has merely moved and it is better than ever.
I gave them a few months before checking out the new brunch. The style is the same as it was at Muse -- buffet style, but in a fine dining atmosphere. I was pleased to see that they had a live musician as well. The drink menu is extensive -- with eight "hand-crafted muse libations." They had everything from Classic Mimosas and Bloody Marys to a unique Pushkin Milk Punch. I started with a Bellini made with Prosecco and pear juice and my friend ordered the Rum Warmer made with Myer's rum, cider reduction, and fresh lemon. Both were very good.
As we approached the brunch area to dig in, we saw Chef Todd Gray himself serving up a mean tofu scramble. You could choose from all kinds of things like cauliflower, roasted potatoes, oyster mushrooms, bell peppers, scallions, and celeriac chip crunch. I chose it all and it was delicious! Some of the items were pre-cooked and others were raw, but it all made for a fantastic, fresh tofu scramble. I bet Todd would have never pictured himself serving tofu scramble twenty years ago.
One of my favorite dishes was the soup -- a Forest Mushroom Dashi with
Bok Choy, Tofu, and Nori Chips. It was super flavorful and just the
right amount of bok choy and tofu. I felt like I could have stopped with
this dish, but there were still so many more!
As is customary with their brunches, there is usually a passed hors d'oeuvre and this time it was a cheesy fried risotto ball. One taste and we wanted more!
On the buffet, you could choose from a variety of dishes. For some reason, we were compelled to try them all. I will admit, I ate too much, but, I am human.
The Salad with Roasted Citrus, Watercress, and Shaved Red Onions in a Blood Orange Vinaigrette was a nice accompaniment to the other hearty dishes.
On my second plate, I tried the Stuffed Granola Crusted French Toast with Cara Cara Orange Marmalade and Red Maple Syrup. I have to say, it was a bit too much bread for me, but that marmalade made it all worth it. I also had Farro Salad with Caramelized Winter Squash, Smoked Trumpet Mushrooms, and Pumpkin Seed Vinaigrette. And there was a Root Vegetable Jambalaya with Celery Root Rutabaga Turnips and Riso Nero (black rice). And a little fruit for good measure.
With no room in my stomach, of course, I had to try the pastries and little bites. I just about exploded.
The brunch is $30 and while that is pricey, you get more than $30 worth of food for this price so it is well worth it. Everything is fresh and incredibly inventive. And where else can you get tofu scramble made fresh right in front of you?! I'm happy to see they've continued the brunch at their restaurant and am excited that they'll be having guest speakers once a month as well. This is the kind of brunch you'll want to take your mom to when she's in town. Fresh food served on white tablecloths with live music and delicious drinks -- yeah, she'll enjoy that too.
August 16, 2013
December 9, 2011
October 17, 2012
818 Connecticut Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20006