A co-worker mentioned that Le Refuge is his favorite restaurant in town. He believes the setting and the uncomparable french food are perfect for big occassion meals.
Considering the location in the Maine Avenue/Waterfront area, and having never heard anyone else mention it in the 30 years I've lived in Washington, I am a little skeptical.
Has anyone been there in the last year or two? Is it worth a try? How does it compare with my favorite country french restaurant in town, Le Chaumiere?
Me thinks you've mixed up La Riviere with Le Refuge, which is in Old Town, just off King Street. La Riviere on the waterfront I have eaten in once and thought it good but not great.
Le Refuge, on the other hand, is a wonderful place, but is saddled for me with the memory of a not-terribly-faithful lover who, over the most delicious hot sauteed mushrooms in a demiglace-butter sauce I have ever had the good fortune to put in my mouth, admitted his infidelity and then in the next course (grouper medallions that smelled heavenly but that I could not choke back what with all that romantic drama) announced his newly realized love for me. I keep meaning to go back and actually taste the food. The mushrooms alone were lure enough.
So definitely check it out. It is small and warm and truly French, in a good way :)
I am not a devotee of La Chaumiere so can not compare the two.