When a local restaurant by one of my favorite chefs closed, the heartbreak was short-lived by the announcement that a new restaurant from Chef Jennifer Carroll would take its place. If any of you are Top Chef fans, you may recognize her from the show’s sixth season. Confession: that was the only season of the show I watched from beginning to end, because of several DC chefs who were also on that season. One of them was Mike Isabella, whose Mike Isabella Concepts launched Carroll’s first DC-area restaurant, Requin. (A second location will open later this year.) Neither Isabella nor Carroll won that season of Top Chef, but they have created a winning partnership here at Requin in Northern Virginia’s Mosaic District.
I actually won a brunch for two at Requin — and overnight stay at the next door Hyatt House — from an Instagram contest. We decided to let the kids join us to review the kids’ menu and they were smitten from spotting the restaurant’s shark logo to meeting Chef Carroll after the meal. My husband and I went with the “bottomless brunch” which is served sort of like a tapas menu, where you order a few plates to share at a time. It’s $35 per person and you can enjoy 25-cent mimosas as well. We managed to work our way through most of the options but didn’t quite have room to try them all — so I guess we’ll just have to go back!
The menu is packed with locally-sourced seafood and seasonal ingredients. A few favorites include the smoked blue catfish schmear — which I had to fight my daughter for the last bits of, wild mushroom soft scramble, ratatouille, and lamb merguez. The kids gave all thumbs up to the brioche French toast. We shared the cookie plate for dessert but if you find yourself too full for cookies, I recommend the delightful Greek yogurt topped with burnt honey, fresh berries and toasted coconut. It’ll leave you feeling virtuous despite the generous amount of food you just ate. 😉
Tip for those taking the kids: ask for a booth in the middle for a view of the kitchen so they can watch the action. And note that little ones can order off the kids’ menu while the grown-ups order the bottomless brunch, or adults can opt for a la carte as well.
Check it out: Bottomless Brunch is available 11am-3pm every Saturday and Sunday. Requin will host an Easter Bunny Brunch from 10am-2pm on Saturday, April 15 — make reservations here.
8296 Glass Alley
If you’re visiting the area or just looking for a relaxing staycation spot, we enjoyed the Hyatt House at Mosaic. I often joke about moving into the Mosaic District, where we frequently find ourselves on the weekends for coffee at Mom & Pop, more lunch options than you could get through in a week, Sunday farmers market, MOM’s organic market, a fish market, a butcher, summer movies on the lawn …. and yes, the essential Target for anything you can’t find in the boutiques. So it was a treat to stay over. In the summer, their rooftop pool looks like a great spot to relax after a busy day of shopping (or sight-seeing: there is Metro access to DC a free shuttle ride away). The hotel’s complimentary breakfast buffet includes an omelette station, which is always a hit with the foodie kids. Just save room for brunch at Requin later!