As true with most cities, weekend Brunch is a pretty big deal here in Atlanta. While I do love a good brunch, this time of year I instead tend to celebrate my own form of weekend hibernation: Sleep until the sun is high, then find some eggs and bacon fried.
However, somewhere in these light shortened days, there is a special Holiday and the Ritz Carlton, Buckhead could get anyone, even Scrooge, in the Holiday spirit. The Buckhead Ritz Carlton creates a very special brunch 4 weekends during the Holiday Season, and I was invited to attend the kickoff celebration this year.
So what makes the Ritz’s Holiday brunch so special? The hotel is festively decorated for the holiday season as well musical entertainment and caroling by the Dickens Singers. Santa is even walking around to spread cheer (no, not high-end mall Santa, the real deal P’Tree Kringle) and need I mention Photo Op?
But, it’s the food that makes this such a great occasion. I arrived at noon for my reservation, and started off with coffee, fresh squeezed OJ and champagne. I don’t drink champagne too often, but this was so tasty, I had to inquire as to the brand which is called Mumm of Napa Valley. (Think Mummosa.…Mmmmm)
I like the layout of the offerings. This isn’t your traditional buffet with only 1 or 2 rows of food. This spread keeps going and going. First there’s a station where traditional omlettes and waffles are made to order, along with an offering of pancakes, bacon, sausage and breakfast potatoes.The bacon was extra crispy, but not too salty which was perfect for me. And the breakfast potatoes had onions and peppers too. I sampled a little but didn’t want to overdo it as I knew there were much more tasty treats to be had than these perennial brunch favorites.
Meandering through the rooms of food stations, I passed by the fresh fruit area, bread and cheese area which all looked quite tasty and made my way to the fresh seafood (oysters, crab, shrimp, caviar). Apparently, the caviar was quite popular, as diners couldn’t seem to get enough of it, but I can’t comment as I’m not much of a fan. But the crab and shrimp on the other hand, I very much enjoyed. The large portions were fresh and hit the spot. No need to feel ashamed: Servers here will never judge you on how many oyster, pincher, tail shells stack up before another fresh plate is available.
Next, was the salad / vegetable station. This shouldn’t be overlooked as there are many goodies to be found such as prosciutto wrapped asparagus, beet salad, and cranberry rice among many other fine offerings. I had to have 2 helpings of the beet salad as well as the sweet potato salad they were so tasty. Don’t miss the carrots either. I haven’t had carrots this good since I ate here.
BUT, the gold mine is the carving station. Not only is roast beef and suckling pig available, but on my visit I had Muscovy duck breast with buttnernut squash puree, salmon wellington, as well as striped bass. The beef was tender and juicy. The fish was flaky. And the duck breast was paired well with the squash and one of my favorites. This carving station does not reward just the first lucky guests, rather I noticed staff constantly bringing out new juicy cuts. So everyone, regardless if your seating time is 11:30 AM or 3:30 PM, gets the same delicious cuts throughout this brunch.
I’d be remiss in my review not to mention the dessert. I love the little dessert tastes the Ritz offers. This way you get to taste a variety of dishes. Glen’s favorites were the pistachio pudding and carrot cake, while I loved the key lime pie and mango cheesecake.
Holiday brunch is available Sundays through December 20th from 11:30 am to 4:30 pm at the Ritz Carlton, Buckhead. Cost is $58 for adults and $28 per child.
3434 Peachtree Road
Atlanta, GA 30326
Heads up: They only validate parking for valet. The self-parking is run by an independent company. So, if you park yourself, the walk is farther, and they cannot validate the parking which is about $4 hour.