Before last month, I had neither heard of the White Flint metro stop nor set foot anywhere near it. The land of Bethesda – as most downtowners know it – is confined to the second location of Georgetown Cupcake or the main strip packed with restaurants like Brickside Food and Drink. Old Georgetown Road and the North Bethesda locales it leads to is a mystery. This is quite a shame, however, as limited knowledge of North Bethesda means missing out on a seriously tasty brunch opportunity at City Perch Kitchen + Bar.
Hungry Lobbyist was invited to visit City Perch in November, where a blustery, gray Sunday had myself and my dining companion, Nate, chilled to the bone. Upon stepping inside we were immediately warmed, and then confused. Escalators in a dimly lit lobby take guests to the second floor, where an open-air restaurant entrance (City Perch) lies to the left and what appears to be a check-in desk flanks the right. Were we in a hotel? After being seated in the roomy, window-lined back dining room, Manager Phillip Lendenbaum clarified.
City Perch is the restaurant accompanying iPic, a luxury movie theatre aiming to be the “Four Seasons” of cinematic experience, including leather reclining chairs, bottles of champagne and a full menu for guests. Before of after viewing a movie, patrons who don’t opt for the extensive theatre dining options can enjoy a meal at City Perch. While our timetable didn’t permit the movie, we thoroughly enjoyed our multi-course brunch. Here are some of the highlights:
Assorted Bread Basket
Almond croissants, orange and sage biscuits, buttery popovers and sweet cornbread topped with whole kernels make for a deliciously diverse bread basket. The sweet cornbread is one of the better options we’ve found in the DMV. As we’re from Kentucky, we take cornbread very seriously.
Smoked Salmon Popovers
Buttery, flaky, mini-popovers are full-to-bursting with creme fraiche and smoked salmon. Absolutely delicious.
Crispy Chicken Waffle Sandwich with Spicy Bacon Maple Syrup
Fried chicken tenders are served atop fluffy waffles, where diners can then assemble their sandwiches. The true star, however, is the is bacon maple syrup that contains actual chunks of bacon and a subtle heat from Tabasco sauce.
Slow-Poached Egg with Short Rib
Served in a piping hot cast-iron skillet, creamy mascarpone polenta is topped with juicy bacon-braised kale, a tender hunk of short rib and a perfect poached egg. My favorite dish of the meal.
Decadent Stuffed French Toast
The “decadent” French toast option features thick-sliced brioche crusted with corn flakes and stuffed with whipped mascarpone. Powdered sugar and berries lie on top of this extra-rich dish that even we, amazingly, couldn’t finish.
While we didn’t elect to do so, diners can also “make it rain” truffles or scoop caviar on their dishes for $25 and $15, respectively. We also ordered a la cart to sample some of City Perch’s best options, but brunchers can order the “brunch box” for $19.99, which allows for one entree and one beverage or cocktail. Bottomless drinks are available for an extra $10. Given the myriad of brunch deals around D.C., the inclusion of a pastry or side in the “brunch box” would make this a more lucrative offer.
Other than that particular qualm, City Perch is an overall good brunch experience with attentive service and the added bonus of a neighboring luxury movie theatre. The bread basket, salmon popovers and slow-poached egg with short rib are some of the very best menu options, so be sure to give those a try if you’re in the area. If I was able to order endless cornbread and crunchy orange and sage biscuits, you’d catch me perching in North Bethesda more often.
City Perch Kitchen + Bar is located at 11830 Grand Park Ave b in North Bethesda, just off of Old Georgetown Road. To learn more, visit their website, like them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter and Instagram.