By Mallory Burns
Whether you’re looking for a convenient location for a casual business together to start your work day, a place to showcase some ol’ fashioned Southern charm to your out-of-town friends and family, or a pleasant atmosphere to celebrate a day away from the office, it’s time you make your way to One Eleven at the Capital. It’s difficult to achieve a healthy balance between sophisticated and welcoming, but One Eleven has gracefully hit the nail on the head.
Approach the Capital Hotel’s historic portico from the west and you can effortlessly utilize a feature that becomes especially attractive during the colder months: complimentary valet parking. As always, you’re warmly greeted by the hotel staff as you make your way into the majestic, marble-filled hotel lobby. Make your way to the left to be seated quickly by the hostess in charge (and request a spot by the window if they have one available). Don’t forget to take in the invitingly bright bar on your journey to your seat.
In a restaurant world of stylish yet distracting, uncomfortable seating, you nearly sigh of relief as you land in the padded and upholstered chairs. Being immediately greeted by your server offering a pitcher of ice-cold water is always refreshing, but a carafe of piping hot coffee is exactly what we are all wanting to see deep down. Here, you get both. After screaming “YES!”, you’ll get a pour of dark-roasted coffee into a cup of which you’ll never see the bottom.
As you begin perusing the menu placed in front of you, you will undoubtedly have a difficult time making a decision. Will you go with what you know and order the traditional heartland (go with grits, bacon, and biscuit if you do)? Maybe you will get the banana stuffed French toast so you can head back to your room to take a nap directly after consumption? Will you build your own omelette and make more decisions than you’re likely to make for the rest of the day? Select your morning sustenance, place an order with your server, constantly available yet mysteriously unseen, take a deep breath, and enjoy the welcoming and airy atmosphere as the anticipation builds.
I landed on the petit déjeuner de paris, an obviously French-inspired spread that includes delectable pastries, seasonal fruits, yogurt and granola, brie cheese, and your coffee (or tea) included. The pastries–a warm blueberry muffin, an orange and cranberry scone, and a Danish–are made in-house and are the perfect balance of sweet and buttery. The Danish, in particular, which is swirled with cinnamon and has a thoughtfully placed dollop of almond paste at the center, was good enough to share. Take a break from your pastries by combining the granola and yogurt, both made in-house as well, and you’ll enjoy a break from the richness with a perfectly tart flavor combined with a satisfying crunch. The fruit cup, which can be disappointing in the wrong environment (melon, melon, and more melon) was not only a refreshing pause but allows you to feel as though you are satisfying the ever-present “I should be eating healthier” guilt. Finally, the creamy and nutty brie cheese wedges will ready your palette to dive back into the pastries after a sip of coffee, which has just been magically refilled by your server once more. If you’re looking for something more savory, the Irish breakfast–poached eggs and grits with a side of bread (seriously, get the biscuit)–was another favorite in my group.
One Eleven is a marvelous spot for a sophisticated yet perfectly relaxed morning. Find your way here any day of the week starting at 6:30 a.m. and you won’t be disappointed. I’ll caution you that the breakfast prices run between $15-20 per person, but sometimes the juice is worth the fresh squeeze.