A brunch this scrumptious at a venue as beautiful as Reflections Lounge tempts me to stay quiet and keep it a secret
Reflections is the Rosewood Hotel Georgia’s lush, open-air lounge on the fourth-floor courtyard. It’s a surprising oasis in the middle of the hotel, and it brings a touch of South Beach glam to a city otherwise dominated by West Coast minimalist sleek.
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Its new Sunday brunch is an ideal opportunity to enjoy the space without having to wait in line for a coveted cabana. The covered cabanas are arranged on one side of the room surrounding a massive stone fire pit. A blanket is never far from reach but the overhead heat lamps do a fine job of keeping things warm even on chilly grey days. The only things missing are a few palm trees and a UV index higher than 2 and you’d swear you were in Miami.
Whether you're ensconced in a cabana or lounging with a larger group on oversized teak chairs and tables, once you tuck into the food you won't care where you are at all.
The hotel's head chef, Ken Nakano, and his talented team expertly use the tiny space beside the bar to execute their culinary magic. Chef Nakano favours ingredients fresh from the farm and ocean, and plates every dish to artistic perfection atop black ceramic plates.
West Coast Seafood Plate for Two
We started with what should be its signature brunch showpiece: a gorgeous, delectable platter called the West Coast Seafood Plate for Two ($25). This isn’t a quick steamed- or boiled-‘n’-chilled assortment of seafood. Each item was cooked and seasoned individually and then assembled to create a cornucopia of lusciousness.
The plate features oysters, crab legs, side-striped shrimp, smoked and candied salmon, mussels and clams. A generous basket of freshly grilled bread accompanied the dish. In all honesty, this alone with a couple of cocktails would have made for a lovely, simple brunch on its own.
But we persevered.
The chunky spears of watermelon in this salad ($9) are actually marinated in a bit of olive oil to impart some richness, although it retains all its inherent summery refreshingness. Crumbled feta and snippets of basil lend their earthiness to round off this pretty, modern salad.
Smoked Salmon with Shredded Potatoes
I absolutely loved the Smoked Salmon Hash ($19) and even devout non-fish eaters will adore this dish. You’d think I’d be done with fish after the seafood plate for two, but there’s something about the combination of shredded potatoes, poached eggs and that gorgeous horseradish sauce that elevates this into something magical – I was very happy. And not to be overlooked, the side roasted vegetables were hardly mere window dressing. They were a standout on their own, with thin strips of succulent eggplant and peppers, and satisfying chunky spears of fresh peas, artichoke hearts and brocco-flower (yes, broccoli AND cauliflower in one).
Beef Short Rib Eggs Benedict
The Beef Short Rib Eggs Benedict ($17) is a delicious take on the classic, with tender, mouth-watering pieces of beef draped over thick slices of crisp, grilled bread. It’s topped with two poached eggs and a luscious blanket of smoked paprika Hollandaise. Same delicious side veggies as for the hash.
Of course we had dessert. We were stuffed silly by this point, but everything was so impressively delicious we had to see what they could do with the final course. We ordered the Rhubarb and Basil Verrine ($7), which was layers of crème faiche and an intense rhubarb compote, topped with crumbled basil pound cake and pistachios. It was luscious, creamy, tart and rich all at the same time – heavenly. The last course did not disappoint.
Reflections is open Monday – Saturday at 12 noon, and for Sunday brunch from 10am – 3pm.