Since the fall, my Facebook feed has been spotted with friends’ Instagrams featuring trendy cocktails and aerial shots of flowers and/or food (warning: aerial shot ahead), all tagged at the Quirk Hotel. This past weekend I finally got to see the Quirk Hotel myself when I brunched at Maple and Pine, Quirk’s onsite restaurant and a participating restaurant in Richmond Brunch Weekend.
I feel not a lot of people know that Maple and Pine is the name of Quirk’s restaurant, or maybe I just need to namedrop Quirk Hotel, so every time I explain where I brunched, I go, “At Maple and Pine of Quirk Hotel.” Duh.
Quirk opened in downtown Richmond this past fall. It’s part of a hotel chain called Destination Hotels. So it’s not exactly a chain like the Marriott. It’s hard to really pin down what Quirk is, because it’s definitely more than a hotel: it’s a gallery, a restaurant, a bar, an event space, etc. Its name should be “Trendy, Etc.,” to be honest because of how millennials on social media treat it.
Sara asked after I went to Maple and Pine/Quirk if it was worth all the hype. Aesthetically speaking, it is. The first floor/Maple and Pine is an open floor concept with wide, airy windows and spaced out seating. There is feng shui – I’m just guessing because I really don’t know how feng shui works other than I appreciated the aesthetics of the hotel/restaurant. Yes, the cocktails are pricey, but what were you expecting?
Anyway, I didn’t even get a cocktail for brunch. Their brunch menu isn’t extensive. It all fits on one page and automatically downloads when you click on it online (which is sort of annoying because then I had to delete it from my Downloads folder, but there are worse sins in the world). I had been eyeing the quiche ($12), but then my friend Joanna and I discovered the omelet of the day (Saturday) featured broccoli, cheddar, and bacon ($12). Game changer.
We also ordered fresh-squeezed orange juice ($4), which I don’t normally do, but heck, I treated. The omelet comes with fried potatoes and a choice of toast or English muffin. Joanna got sourdough, and I would have said the same, but I had to be slightly different, so I opted for the muffin.
Do you see that omelet? Look at how smooth it is. It looks almost like rubber. (I promise you it doesn’t taste like rubber.) This was the first observation out of my mouth once our plates were delivered. “How did they get it like that?” Consequently, this has been everyone else’s question, too, upon seeing my Instagrams of brunch. So, Maple and Pine, how do you get your omelets so smooth? My ridiculous theory is they make a regular omelet and then they shave it.
Anyway, texture aside, the omelet was great. The potatoes are even better. And the orange juice was on point - super smooth (like the omelet’s texture; I can’t get over it) with a hint of sweetness. The first time I ever had fresh-squeezed orange juice was in Florida in fourth grade, and this orange juice was a fair competitor.
Everything at Maple and Pine is served in style, probably because it is Quirk Hotel. Condiments were brought to us in miniature glass bowls, including an apricot jelly and ketchup. You’ll find no Heinz-57 bottles on your table. Coffee would have been served in hip, cool glassware. The atmosphere is sleek. I’m trying to use any word but “trendy,” because I’ve already used it in this review, but what I’m trying to say is, if you want to be trendy, go here. You’re paying as much for the experience as you are for the food. And mind your dress. If you’re going to dress down, it better be Lululemon.
I’ll definitely be back to Quirk Hotel to check out their art gallery (it was closed during my brunch, insert sad emoji) and for a cocktail. I’m already picturing the Instagram and camera angle I might use. Because what millennial goes to Quirk Hotel and doesn’t tag them?
If you're interested in dining at Maple and Pine, add them to the list of consideration for Richmond Brunch Weekend, which is May 14 and 15. Reservations recommended.
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