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Sep 6, 2000 04:39 PM

Les Halles

  • s

In a message in the "dinner downtown" chain, someone asked about the DC Les Halles. My husband and I have been there several times, but swore it off three or four years ago.

The problem was not the food, which was good. In fact, I miss the lentil salad with sliced tongue, and if anyone knows where else I can get it, please say so! BUT Les Halles' service was awful -- not just indifferent, but rude every time. The straw that broke our backs was when we went in and asked to be seated in non-smoking, and were told that there was no such area. People were smoking cigars all over the restaurant. When we protested that there was a sign pointing to a no-smoking area, the host told us that since it was late (about 10 pm), they had decided to let people smoke everywhere.

I hope things there have changed. I'd really like to have that salad again.

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  1. Les Halles DC just can't quite cut it, at least if you've been to the original. It's not so much the service (pace our Stanford alum), which, true enuf, leaves a lot for improvement. (Mostly Francophile North Africans on the floor, with a healthy smattering of cute DC interns, but no training.) The problem is the carelessness in the kitchen. Endemic, again, to this wonderful town; if you order steak frites, fine; but anything "off menu" -- and by that I mean *on* the menu, but not something your typically adventuresome DC resident might crave, meaning, anything other than the onglet and a salad -- is reheated by nukular power. I've complained -- Muhammed, the (mostly) maitre d', is receptive and will make tartare at tableside if requested; but Les Halles DC just can't justify a full bistro menu when the pig's knuckles are ordered maybe -- maybe -- once a month. You're better off on Park Avenue South, in a New York minute.