For my mom's birthday, I wanted to a girl's lunch. She loves trendy food and is loves trying new places. I want something that would be nice for a special occasion. Also I am willing to drive for something really nice. She had mentioned she wanted to try Founding Farmers, but I haven't heard good things about it. Any suggestions would be lovely!
Founding Farmers is a nice place serving American classics like chicken pot pie and meatloaf to fajitas and entree salads in a hip downtown setting for less money than usual for downtown. The food is not trendy at all. And much of it unremarkable.
Go for the brunch items at Cafe Atlantico if you want terrific modern food. You can order a la carte or if you get there early enough, you could go for the 14 course set meal for $35.
If you want great food on a Sunday for brunch or lunch (both are available) and are willing to drive, go to the Hunter's Head Tavern in Upperville, VA (about 5 miles north of Middleburg on rt. 50). The food is a combination of classic english pub fare and American dishes along with a nice variety of changing brunch items of local organic free range origins . I wouldn't call it trendy but it is excellent. The owners have a farm in the area where most of their meat is raised. I just love this place and its well worth the drive. Beats Founding Farmers hands down. Make a reservation if you want a table inside (as opposed to the heated tent). It's a little weird only in that you have to decide what you want when you get there, order your food, and then sit down and wait for it to be brought to you along with beverages. AFter you order the table service is quite good. Don't know why they do it that way but they do. But it's a very nice place, not at all a carryout atmosphere as you might think. If your Mom likes wineries, there are plenty in the area to check out after you eat or shopping in Middleburg and its a pretty drive. Also, the same family has a butcher in downtown Middleburg called Home Farm that sells their grass fed meats, which are the absolute best I've found in the greater DC area. Bring a cooler so you can bring some home. And pick up a few of their pasties or pot pies while you're at it. They are so worth it. http://www.huntersheadtavern.com/Hunt...
There are plenty of other places in DC that are nice are brunch only at all levelsbut HHT is where I tend to head these days when I want a nice midday meal on a Sunday and have the time to go out there.