I'm about to go out for a client dinner in Orlando, but I wanted to blog about our recent brunch at Marie Louise Bistro, 904 N. Charles St. in Mt. Vernon. After Joe got home from the hospital this past Saturday morning, we went in search of a fun brunch spot. Our original goal was City Cafe, but on our way there, we remembered we'd recently been unsuccessful in our nighttime hunt for Marie Louise, and perhaps we'd have better luck finding it in the daytime.
Sure enough, we found it at the corner of Charles and Read streets right beside Spirits of Mt. Vernon Wine Shop. They haven't invested in an awning or flag to grab your attention on the street, but it's there. (When we told the management later about our trouble identifying it, they said awnings have been ordered and are on the way).
Long story short, we were enchanted by Marie Louise. The inside is delightfully French and airy with 25+ feet ceilings and a stone wall that makes you feel like you're in the countryside. Above the stone, walls are painted a creamy taupe, and French country pottery and furniture decorate the space. Every table had a glass bowl of red baby roses, and larger vases of full-size red roses were placed around the room. The front dining area felt like a cafe with the crazy espresso machine and gorgeous pastry display. A huge storefront window lets in ample light, but if that wasn't enough, two enormous antique chandeliers dangle from refurbished, shiny tin ceilings. Super classy.
Brunch is clearly their "thing", and I was ecstatic to find a favorite menu item in veggie condition - the Veggie Bennie is a vegetarian Eggs Benedict, served with potatoes. Really delicous Portabello mushrooms and peppers on the poached egg and English muffin. Joe got the Crab Benedict, which he says was great. We topped it off with two mimosas. Er, four.
Food was great. They have a full list of coffee beverages prepared to your liking, plus gorgeous teas, such as vanilla grapefruit. Doesn't that sound amazing? I asked to sit in the front dining room with all the natural light, but the back half of the restaurant is lovely too, just better suited for dinner. It has beautiful dark hardwood floors and lower ceilings, so it seems a bit more formal. Upstairs, loft-style, is a giant bar surrounded by high top tables and one private back room with a table for 10-12 guests. From the loft bar, you've got a beautiful view of the front cafe dining area and chandeliers. The whole place is so elegant. I seriously considered going back the very next day when we were on another hunt for a brunch place.