Sunday, December 14, 2008


Utopia is an eclectic bar and grill on U street. It has respectable brunch food and an aesthetic decor consisting of exposed brick walls, chandeliers, and original artwork. Like other places on U street, however, the service leaves a lot to be desired.

Utopia offers a small brunch menu but also provide $1 brunch drinks, such as bloody marys, mimosas, or champagne. None of the items on the brunch menu is particularly interesting, but they do manage to make what they offer well. The vegetarian omelet has well-sauteed vegetables and cheese in an omelet combined with fresh herbs. Despite the poor cheese selection (only cheddar, American, or mozzarella), the dish was well-presented and tasty. The side of fresh fruit was also good.

I also tried the stuffed French toast, which was the most interesting item on the menu. It's two thick pieces of French toast with spiced apples and cream cheese. The creaminess from the cheese and sweetness from the apples and syrup creates a good mix of flavors.

While the food was good, the service was largely disappointing. It appeared that there was only one waitress for the entire restaurant. We waited at least 20 minutes before she took our order and at least another 15 minutes before we got our drinks. She also did not bring our second round of drinks. It took an equally long time before our food arrive. This was a serious problem and hampered our brunch enjoyment and almost ruined what is respectable food. Utopia needs to improve its service before I can recommend that people go.

Contact information after the jump. Continue reading.

Brunch menu [Utopia]

Utopia Bar & Grill
1418 U St NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 483-7669

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Downsizing at Vinoteca?

I know the economy is tanking. But you don't expect that to affect brunch. My favorable review of Vinoteca, the wine bar on U Street, commented on their "ambitious" "tower of prosciutto di parma and gruyere cheese sandwiched between two thick slices of French toast and topped with a sunny side up egg and bacon" called the Monte Cristo. On a recent visit, however, they served a significantly downsized Monte Cristo. Not only was it smaller, but it was served without the bacon and maple syrup of the previous offering. After the jump, you be the judge. The first picture is the "downsized" sandwich and the other two pictures show the original ones.

Continue reading.