As you get to know me and My Simple Table blog, I’ll often post about my favorite food experiences; new places, old standby’s, tips from friends or my favorite kind, randomly selected based on the way a place looks (inviting), smells (good) or the menu (you know, options).   I can tell right away if I’m going to like something, or not…

This past weekend my cousin flew in for the March on Washington (I rallied from home) and I met her in town Sunday for a 24 hour visit, which was basically laughing, shopping, wine and eating.  And repeat.  I forget how much fun Dupont Circle & Adams Morgan is, rediscovering the city is refreshing.  A Sunday Funday for sure.

For a late brunch, we chose Restaurant Nora, America’s First Certified Organic restaurant. This was a complete random pick!  We Google-d farm to table in Dupont and this popped up; if I could only figure out how to use a map on my iPhone, this would have been faster to get to, but we had fun skipping through puddles, giggling and running into friends on a morning run.  Boy, did this place deliver.  We enjoyed the Belgian Endive & Baby Lettuces with Dates served with Pomegranates, Za’atar Labneh and Lemon Tahini Dressing, the Roasted Exotic Mushroom Soup with Crème Fraîche & Crispy Leeks and the Grilled Sustainable Salmon with Beluga Lentils, Green Beans, Carrots, Wilted Kale and Dill Aioli.   The service was polite and demure, and allowed us to catch up in a quiet, quaint area of the bustling neighborhood eatery.

We headed over to Adams’ Morgan and while we were window shopping in the light rain, we literally stumbled across a window front we couldn’t pass up; we loitered for an hour and a half so we could hit this spot for dinner.  Next up, Mintwood Place.  The fun surprise was on Sundays’ they do an all night Happy Hour in the bar where you can also order from the full dinner menu.  Uh, yes please.  We lucked out and had an awesome server; you know the one, the kind that makes everything sound scrumptious and you can tell she actually samples and enjoys the food they serve.  She successfully paired us with a Pinot Noir and I am still dreaming of the following:  Bacon-Braised Collard Greens with Winter Pickle, Brussels Sprouts with Chestnut and Apple Gastrique, Brandade Croquettes (it’s like a fish & chip, except shaped like a pop ’em donut and tempura fried crunchy) and finally a Bacon Cheeseburger;  we skipped the bread and they were so thoughtful – it came sliced in half so we could share, decorated with edible pansies – my fave.

Finally this morning we needed to refuel, so we popped our heads into the hotel restaurant, Cafe Dupont.  First of all, if they serve Lavazza coffee, you know they know what they are doing.  The picture above say it all but, Crushed Avocado, Spelt Toast, Chili Flakes & Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and locally Smoked Salmon, Shallot and Cucumber Pickle on Gluten Free bread (it’s an option, which is always nice to have).  Seriously, really good.

It’s always a terrific excuse to get away for a day in the city, but it’s even better when you get to see your best left coast cousin and have some quality time, doing what you love.