Our mothers work tirelessly for us in little ways every day — sewing buttons onto shirts at the last minute, praising our smallest achievements and bringing home the bacon — not to mention frying it up in a pan. So, the least we can do is give her a nice meal once a year and that time has come. Here are just a handful of options for a happy Mother’s Day.
For Christianne Ricchi, the chef/owner of i Ricchi (1220 19th St., N.W.), celebrating Mamma is a joyful event. “Eating in Italy is basically a family act,” she says, noting that a mother’s cooking provides a link between generations. While we usually take Mom out for Sunday brunch, this Tuscan family-style Mother’s Day dinner will be offered May 12-13 (Friday and Saturday), featuring tortelloni stuffed with ricotta and chard, Tuscan fried “spider web” chicken and stuffed veal shoulder.
Keep to the Italian theme, but in a different region, at Via Umbria (1525 Wisconsin Ave., N.W.), where a special brunch on Mother’s Day (Sunday, May 14) will include local Ivy City Smoked Salmon with Pequea Valley yogurt dill spread, and pasta with eggplant, capers, olives, tomatoes and ricotta — along with bottomless Aperol spritz, mimosas or Bloody Marys.
Mom won’t go hungry at Teddy & The Bully Bar (1200 19th St., N.W.), where a hybrid brunch menu includes three plated dishes, family style sides and several buffet stations. Try the cereal-crusted brioche topped with bourbon syrup and vanilla mascarpone or the short ribs with fried eggs, refried white beans and spicy aioli. Check out the Lady Outlaw cocktail on tap, a perfect spring sipper made with vodka, elderflower liqueur, lemon sour and lavender bitters.
Treat Mom to a Michelin-starred meal at Blue Duck Tavern (1201 24th St., N.W.), where she can dig into waffles topped with cream cheese mousse and macerated berries (yes, please), lamb hash with potato, English peas and rainbow carrots, and fried chicken and biscuits with honey hot sauce and a sunny-side-up egg.
Classic Peruvian dishes are on the three-course menu at Nazca Mochica (1633 P St., N.W.), including steamed mussels in a lime and cilantro dressing, braised lamb leg in a dark beer reduction served with fried yucca, and potatoes in Huancaina sauce. Be sure to finish the meal with alfajores, traditional cookies filled with dulce de leche.
The rosé mimosa is just one way to make Mom happy at Espita Mezcaleria (1250 9th St., N.W.), but the smoky mezcal Bloody Maria might also do the trick. Highlights from their special brunch menu include a savory maitake mushroom omelette, jalapeno-studded biscuits with poached eggs and arbol hollandaise, and French toast topped with smoked agave nectar and mezcal-infused bananas.
Try one of the best brunches in town at Ambar (523 8th St., S.E.), where the Bottomless Brunch includes Balkan-style bread pudding made with chili flakes and country-style bacon, poached pear waffles, steak and eggs and roasted mushroom crepes. The flowing cocktails include the restaurant’s signature Ambar mimosa, a heady blend of champagne with peach and lavender purée, as well as cherry and mango mimosas. Should you decide to stop by for dinner on Mother’s Day, Ambar’s also offering a 50 percent discount on rakia (a kind of Balkan fruit brandy) shots, which Mom is sure to appreciate.
Should rum be your mother’s preferred libation, check out Cuba Libre (801 9th St., N.W.), where she can indulge in the Havana Hottie, a Bloody Mary made with dark rum and habanero peppers — and be sure to encourage her to reminisce about her misspent youth. Try the Panqueques, cornmeal pancakes topped with dark rum and molasses syrup and mango butter, or the Huevo Roto, a pile of double-blanced French fries with crispy chorizo, poached eggs and a tomato-hollandaise sauce.
Go old school with a classic brunch at the Top of the Hay at the Hay-Adams Hotel (800 16th St., N.W.), where Mom will receive a chilled glass of Taittinger bubbly upon arrival, which she can sip while enjoying one of the best views in D.C. Buffet offerings will include mushroom agnolotti, seared sea bass, and, of course, prime rib, along with a full omelet station. Don’t skip the dessert selection, from chocolate-dipped strawberries to coconut cake to Virginia rhubarb upside down cake.
An intriguing array of brunch-ready bento boxes are on offer at the Latin-Asian restaurant Sakerum (2204 14th St., N.W.), from grilled short rib with sushi rice, chimichurri salsa and a fried egg to a double-fried chicken thigh with Yukon Gold mashed potatoes and fried egg. Box accompaniments include bacon-jalapeno home fries, mixed green seaweed salad, fried plaintains and tamago futomaki and Gina Chersevani’s creative cocktails round out the meal, from the Greek Frappé, with rum, cinnamon, instant coffee and cream, to the Lychee Mimosa.
The Hamilton’s (600 14th St., N.W.) popular Gospel Brunch is always a winner. Live entertainment by Wilbur Johnson and the Gospel Persuaders makes for a fun backdrop to Southern-style catfish, spring vegetable strata, collard greens, fried chicken and French toast.