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Nov 7, 2008 03:19 AM

Jefferson Hotel Richmond -- Sunday Brunch

We'll be in Richmond in Dec. for our son's graduation. We're staying at the Jefferson Hotel, and are considering making reservations for the Sunday Brunch there. I'm wondering if the food lives up to the reputedly festive surroundings, and whether it is worth the price.

Any other celebratory Richmond recommendations would be great.

Thanks so much.

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  1. Having never tried it myself, my impression from others is that the food is usually good, sometimes great. Most people are going for the event and the experience more than for the food. I would recommend having dinner at Lemaire in the Jefferson while you're in town - their food is great, service impeccable, and they're closing on Jan 1 so the hotel can open a new restaurant in its place. I assume they're going to try to open something with more appeal to the locals - every time I've gone in the restaurant has been fairly empty.

    My other recommendations in Richmond include Verbena, Pomegranate, Mezzanine (they make an effort to have their menu made from at least 70% local ingredients, food is always well prepared, short, but well-chosen wine list), Can-Can (awesome wine list, great Belgian beer selection, and they change their menu periodically to feature different regions of France), and Millie's (always good, be prepared to wait a while if you go for brunch). Since you're celebrating, I'd recommend tapas, which (I think) always have fun built in. There are two places I know of in Richmond: Si and Europa. I like Si's food better; Europa is a more party-friendly atmosphere. I wouldn't recommend Tobacco Company or the Dining Room at the Berkeley for food, but they are both Richmond institutions. Also, I haven't tried it yet, but everyone has great things to say about Comfort.

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      1. I would make reservations at Lemaire for a celebratory dinner or have the Sunday brunch, but not both. If you are looking for formal, either of those fit the bill. For a grubier, but very good brunch, I recommend Millie's
        Comfort is very close to the Jefferson and does comfort food very well and everything has it's own spin, but not too froo-frood up. My single best recommendation is Edo's Squid for great Italian food, especially the pastas, seafood and veal marsala. They take reservations.
        Verbena can be inconsistent and I was not impressed with Mezzanine for a number of reasons, mainly it's an awkward place and a bit pretentous (which they haven't earned the right to be at this point).
        Sensi is another place that IMO does not get the kuddos it deserves. Very good pastas as well as meat and seafood in a lovely atmosphere and they are very accommodating and have terrific service as well as food. It's very nice but not too stuffy (Lemaire crosses over the stuffy line a bit).

        1. i thought the brunch at the jefferson was good. not amazing but solid. some items were quite good. the experience was really lovely though. we went with a big group for my son's baptism and i'm not sure any place else would've been right. but if you really just want great food and will already be in the hotel it MAY not be worth it.
          i believe that the entire month of december is holiday prices which is QUITE expensive - but that may also mean you get an even more spectacular brunch. certainly prepare to spend a bit of time for several "walks" and courses to make it worthwhile. we had people in a hurry and it didn't quite work that way.

          1 Reply
          1. re: AMFM

            Yes, you have to make a morning of it if you go...can't be in a hurry. We usually go about twice a year with another couple or two.

          2. I'd go for dinner at Lemaire, for sure; I haven't been to the Berkley in several years, but I've had several good meals there. What do other "hounds" have to say about going there for Sunday brunch?

            3 Replies
            1. re: pollychowing

              Didn't the chef at the Berkley just quit? I was planning to go there for Thanksgiving but reconsidered upon hearing that. From what I understand, they're using recent culinary school grads through the holidays, which could make for a really good meal (inventive) or really bad (no experience)...

              1. re: princsoreo

                This was years ago, but one of the most blah meals I ever had was at The Berkeley.

                1. re: princsoreo

                  A friend of mine used to cook at the Berkeley, but quit about a year ago. He never has good things to say about the folks who were running things (including the head chef and his food) when he left. I don't know anything more recent than that.