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Les Halles Washington DC

t
The Guide to Getting More Out of Life Dec 28, 2005 10:43 AM

As anyone eaten at the Les Halles in washington dc. I love simple french bistros. Any experiences would be greatly apperciated.

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  1. p
    patz Jan 1, 2007 09:33 PM

    I ate at Les Halles for the 3rd time yesterday and was horribly disappointed. My hamburger (w/ foie gras) was way overcooked (I asked for medium rare, it was well-done the first time and medium well the second time). They refilled my water glass once (even though I asked for more water about 5-6 times). My boyfriend's father ordered a tomato and cheese omlette, and they forgot the tomato. And my boyfriend's egg whites included yolk. My other 2 experiences in past years have been great, but I don't know if I'll go back.

    1. d
      Dakota Guy Dec 12, 2006 02:23 PM

      Les Halles is far from a favorite of mine but there are some good things on the menu. I love the mussels Billie Bi, the roast chicken is very good, my GF has had great hangar steaks there, and the double fried frites are very good.

      Incidentally, relevant to the comparisons above, Les Halles is a brasserie, not a bistro (or bistrot). Patricia Wells: "A brasserie is a large establishment, originally a brewery from Alsace, so in Paris it is a large place selling beer and sauerkraut, and open all hours. A bistro is traditionally a small family place, small menu, just a few tables with limited menu." With the typical American disregard of precision in words, Less Halles fails to fulfill its own appelation of brasserie. On the other hand, it is not a bistro either. But I doubt if anyone cares. :-)

      1. o
        Ootek1 Dec 11, 2006 09:14 PM

        Les Halles DC makes a great steak tartare, but the rest of their food is hit and miss. I recall being particularly disappointed with their hangar steak. Still, that steak tartare is damn near unbeatable in this city, so if that's what you are looking for, I'd say give it a go.

        I happen to like Bistrot du Coin. I am willing to put up with the sometimes inconsistent cooking because I think the place just feels like a real French bistro. And the owners, while a little insane, really crack me up. When the food is good and the Belgian beers are flowing, Bistrot du Coin makes for a very warm night out. When the cooking is off and the waitstaff disappears, at least the fries are still good....

        1. e
          EricDC Dec 6, 2006 08:35 PM

          Bistro du Coin is, IMO, great. I have been countless times, and it's still one of my favorites in DC. It's a little loud and brash, but it's always fun and I always end up getting something different and deilcious.

          I went to Les Halles the night of the beaujolais nouveau, 'cuz i knew I'd never get into BdC. It was OK - just, OK. I had an OK steak, very good fries. It was.... fine. I wouldn't object to or poutn about going back... but, I wouldn't ever actively choose it, I don't think.

          1 Reply
          1. re: EricDC
            e
            elnora Dec 11, 2006 08:24 PM

            i also think bistro du coin is pretty good. i always think their moules marinieres (sp?) are delicious and a good bargain, and im a sucker for the foie gras that comes with the glass of sauternes, perfectly done, better than at les halles in my opinion. and ive always enjoyed their desserts. and the hoegaarden on tap. in all, much to recommend.

          2. dctoflorence Dec 5, 2006 09:07 PM

            Aren't we forgetting Bistrot du Coin? If you want to talk/hang out with real foodies, go there after kitchen staffs get off. A lot of Dupont restaurant staffs go there after hours. Be prepared...

            And their food isn't bad, either.

            1 Reply
            1. re: dctoflorence
              monkeyrotica Dec 6, 2006 12:01 PM

              Bistro du Coin's food can be VERY bad, and the owner is occasionally a psycho. Don't know about the after-hours crowd, but I won't be back.

            2. Bill on Capitol Hill Nov 22, 2006 10:40 PM

              Montsouris sounds promising. We live just a few blocks from Montmartre, but we've been only once -- the menu items seem too fussy for my meat-and-potatoes wife.

              1. m
                MakingSense Nov 22, 2006 09:07 PM

                Montsouris on P Street, NW, at Dupont Circel, is new from the same people who have the wonderful Montmartre mentioned above. I haven't been yet but the Montmartre owners told me they were trying for a little more of a bistro-style menu, with more meat dishes, etc.
                If the food and service are as good as Montmartre's, it should be a winner. Mm has great hangar steak, much better value than Les Halles.

                1. Bill on Capitol Hill Nov 22, 2006 07:09 PM

                  I like Les Halles, though it has had its problems (mainly service-related) over the years. The steak tartare is very good, as are the frites.

                  Bistro d'Oc is good, too, but Les Halles has it beat for ambience, frites and wine-by-the-glass selection. I'd go to Les Halles for steak or a croque monsieur (the d'Oc version is pretty bad) but Bistro d'Oc for something homey and stewed. (Not sure about cassoulet at d'Oc, but it might be a good bet.)

                  1. m
                    malcolmmac Nov 22, 2006 06:52 PM

                    Les Halles was a disappointment all in all. Their cassoulet was loaded with tomato paste and great northern beans and undercooked sausage. Other dishes ordered by our party were average. Shame. Where around town can you get cassoulet like the one found at Le Central in San Francisco?

                    1. w
                      WG Jan 4, 2006 10:07 AM

                      Les Halles is alright, but Montmartre in Eastern Market is a better value: excellent hanger steak, mussels, and a decent wine selection. Metro right down the street, and there's usually parking along 7th Street.

                      1. c
                        Chesapeake72000 Dec 30, 2005 02:58 PM

                        I like Les Halles for lunch, or for a late dinner/snack when you can sit outside. The duck confit is very good, and the little, square sauted potatoes they come with are to die for -- and whatever they are sauted in will probably kill me. I order the dish with the frisee salad on the side, rather than mixed in with the potatoes, which is how they serve it.

                        I recently went for lunch and ordered their signature standard steak and frites from the menu -- the steak wasn't very good. But I still like the place.

                        1. q
                          qwertyy Dec 29, 2005 02:02 PM

                          I think the Les Halles here is average. I work nearby, so I enjoy it occasionally for what it is--a laid back, satisfyingplace to linger over a meal or a glass of wine. It's got a nice range of menu options, price-wise, and the atmosphere is pleasant. But I would never, not ever, describe the service as "great." It is... laissez faire.

                          1. c
                            Culocho Dec 28, 2005 11:56 AM

                            I like Les Halles. It's where I go to drink Kir Royales and check out the people in suits. The food is decent, there is always a little buzz going on in there and the service is good.

                            For something more casual and loud I go to Bistro du Coin.

                            Link: http://culocho.blogspot.com

                            1. k
                              kim shook Dec 28, 2005 11:44 AM

                              We went and liked it very much. The service was great - very relaxed and friendly (and lovely french men to look at). We had the Frisee aux lardons, steak frites, and the Moules frites. Everything was delicious. The setting is beautiful and the location is convenient. What more could you ask for??

                              1. s
                                Steve Dec 28, 2005 11:19 AM

                                Eh. I went once and wouldn't go again. Not interesting in the least. Les Halles in NYC is supposed to be much better.

                                I am not sure what good place in Washington is really going after that quality of a simple French bistro.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Steve
                                  d
                                  Dakota Guy Dec 28, 2005 11:32 AM

                                  For a good French bistro in DC, try Bistro D'Oc on 10th street across from Ford's Theater. Great food, moderate prices. There are other bistros around DC that have been mentioned here.

                                  1. re: Dakota Guy
                                    h
                                    Hal Laurent Dec 28, 2005 12:17 PM

                                    I second the recommendation of Bistro D'Oc. I had lunch there last week while touristing in DC. I had a very tasty duck confit.

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