Graham Georgetown Unveils Winter Menu, Looks Ahead to Brunch Launch
Hotel to take advantage of seasonal rooftop closure to focus on new offering.
The Alex Speakeasy at The Graham Georgetown has introduced its seasonal food and beverage offerings for the winter. Executive Chef Jose Molina and new Director of Food & Beverage James Lee have carefully crafted menus full of flavorful options, which rolled out November 29. They also will be launching the hotel's first brunch program as 2019 begins.
New starters in the winter menu include winter greens with baby kale, roasted acorn squash, pepitas, pickled beets, goat cheese, and drizzled with a golden balsamic vinaigrette; hummus with an herbs pesto, roasted vegetables, and pita chips; chicken empanadas with onions, ancho chili, and potatoes; and wild mushroom flatbread with onions, kale, basil oil drizzle, and sprinkled with red pepper flakes. Those looking for heartier entrees may consider the chicken fricassee with onions, edamame, mushroom crème sauce, and savory fingerlings; pan seared scallops with wild mushroom risotto and charred acorn squash, coated with basil oil; and short rib pot roast with seasonal vegetables and potatoes.
True to the speakeasy theme, The Alex is unveiling a selection of new cocktails such as The Most with Suerte Blanco, lime, tawny port, Chaco, pineapple, and blood orange agave; Khamr with Gosling’s Rum, Golden Falernum, and coconut milk, infused with honey, ginger, turmeric, and nutmeg; and The Port in St. Pierre, named for the wholesale alcohol trading post during Prohibition, with gin, Bols Genever, lemon, flamed chartreuse, Grand Marnier, and egg whites. Other new beverage offerings with spirited names include the Eliot Ness, named for the man who helped take down Al Capone, with Zacappa 23 Rum, Punt a Mes, house-made coffee liqueur, Fernet-Branca, and cherry wood smoke, and “I Think I’ll Have a Drink,” an ode to the quote at the end of Ness’ The Untouchables, with Bulleit Rye, calvados, apple cider, lemon, chai, maple, and walnut bitters. Regulars will find familiarity in The Alex’s Bathtub Gin & Tonic, Gatsby, and Brujera cocktails.
Those wanting to enjoy their libations with a view can head up to the hotel’s tented Rooftop for hot cocktails and sweeping sights of Georgetown, which closes for the season on January 2. And that's when the F&B team will take advantage of the relative quiet to launch its first brunch. Lee, who joined the team in the fall of 2018, says they are excited to finally introduce brunch, after sizing up other programs in their market.
“We never had a brunch program, and in D.C. and especially in Georgetown, brunch is huge," Lee says.
“The Rooftop closes January 2 for the season and reopens in mid-April. During that three months, we’ll be focused on getting the brunch program going at the Alex for weekends. We’ll be able to perfect it so that when the time comes to reopen the Rooftop, our vision is a great weather space with a great brunch program. It’s a very relaxed lounge feel upstairs.”
Lee says the brunch offering will stick to classic items, tweaked by Molina, who has been at the Graham for two years. "We want to keep classic items such as Eggs Benedict but put our culinary vision to it," Lee says. "For brunch, we’re elevating the classics with more depth of flavors, paired with our beverage program. Everything will be house-crafted cocktails.”
The only morning offering currently is a la carte breakfast daily at The Alex, with familiar items including omelets, avocado toast, and waffles. “We have basic breakfast offerings at the moment, but once we get the brunch operation started, we’re looking to expand breakfast too," Lee notes.