Mother's Day should probably be renamed "Mothers Refuse to Cook Day". Based upon the masses of families heading out to eat on Mother's Day each year, I think it is pretty safe to say that everyone else in the family refuses to cook on Mother's Day too. Back in the dark ages when I waited tables, I dreaded Mother's Day. It was the busiest day of the year AND the day you made the lowest percentage of tips. Nothing like taking mom out to eat and stiffing the server!
Now that I am a mom, I like to go out to eat too and Mother's Day for me means brunch. Even restaurants that aren't normally in the brunch game dip their toes in the water for Mother's Day. I have been going to the same places loyally now for about 8 years, and was ready for a change. It's no secret that Todd Jurich's Bistro is one of my favorite restaurants. The brunch menu looked good to me, so I booked a reservation through Open Table. I have started to use Open Table more and more. It is easy to use and has a Dining Rewards program through which you earn points which can eventually be redeemed for Open Table Dining checks. Not bad, considering it is a free service.
We arrived on time and were promptly seated in a booth located in front of the door. A great spot for people watching, and in close proximity to the salad / soup bar. I was very curious about the salad bar. The Bistro converts their bar by covering it with linens. Viola! No rocket science required. There were three soups offered: She Crab Chowder, Spring Gazpacho, Spicy Coconut Milk Lobster Bisque. The salad bar consisted of four prepared salads: Tomato and May peas, Spring mix greens, Chick Pea salad, Fresh Cucumber and Sweet onion. There was also a meat and cheese platter. I tried the Lobster Bisque (delicious with a little kick) and the Tomato and Cucumber salads. The vegetables were all fresh and nicely seasoned.
The menu was slightly different than the one posted online. There were a few ommissions. I was sad to see the Southern Bourbon Pecan Pie with brown sugar-cinnamon Ice Cream was no longer an option. For the children we ordered the pasta dish of May peas, morels, shaved aged pecorino Romano, fettuccini and Local Cage Free Farm Eggs. They really liked this. I ordered Eggs Benedict Norfolk: Homemade Black Pepper Biscuits, Surryano Ham, Local Cage Free Farm Eggs, Lump Crabmeat, Lemon Hollandaise. This was exquisite! The biscuits were special, and I loved the ham. The Mister ordered exactly what I anticipated, Chesapeake Bay Soft Shell Crabs: Crab-Bacon Slaw and Sweet Pickle Tartar Sauce. You never know what you will see when you order a soft shell. This one looked great. Lightly battered, served on top of the slaw and sauce. It recieved two thumbs up! The original menu listed Old Bay Gaufrette Potatoes, but this was changed to sliced ‘chip’ potato or croustilles (not waffled). As you can see from the pictures, the presentation on everything was lovely. We ordered dessert early as suggested to make sure it was reserved for us. All three girls went chocolate with the Dark Chocolate Pot de Crème. I added a shot of expresso to round it out. This was a rich decadence which none of us could quite finish.
We were done with our meal in a little under an hour. I believe it was due in part to the best service I have ever received at Jurich's. Our server was friendly, appropriately solicitous and seemed to always show up exactly when needed. I have no complaints. It was a fantastic meal. The Bistro brunch offered a kid's menu, which was actually half plate servings from the main menu. My only suggestion would be to perhaps add something a bit more kid friendly. I would not normally recommend bringing children to The Bistro, but it was after all Mother's Day, and everyone was dining with their family. Lucky for me, my daughter will eat just about anything with gusto and has not problem trying something new, but it was a bit more of a struggle with her friend. I'm pretty sure the that kitchen could whip up some pretty mean chicken tenders if they wanted to!