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May 18, 2007 06:28 AM

French restaurants in Washington D.C.

Looking for original French cuisine in Washington DC. Staying over Memorial Day in the Mandarin Oriental. All price ranges!

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  1. There some that are "French" and others that are highly French influenced. Some to think about that are pretty good.

    Montsouris, 2002 P St. NW (Dupont Circle area)

    Cafe La Ruche, 1039 31st St. NW (inexpensive in Georgetown)

    Bistro D'OC, 518 10th St., NW (Penn Quarter, one of my favorites)

    Bistro Francais, 3124-28 M St., NW (Georgetown)

    Bistrot du Coin, 1738 Connecticut Ave. (Noisy but fun, Above Dupont Circle)

    Bistrot Lepic, 1736 Wisconsin Ave. (Georgetown)

    La Chaumiere, 2813 M St. NW (Georgetown, quite good)

    Lavandou, 3321 Connecticut Ave. (Cleveland Park)

    Les Halles, 1201 Pennsylvania Ave. NW (Downtown, been around forever)

    Montmartre, 327 7th Street SE (Capitol Hill, excellent)

    Gerard's Place, 915 15th St. NW (Downtown, very good, very expensive)

    Le Paradou, 678 Indiana Ave. NW (Penn Quarter, very expensive very good)

    Citronelle, 3000 M St. NW (Saving the best and most expensive for last, Modern French and a James Beard winner for both the chef and the sommelier, my favorite restaruant in DC and considered the very best by many)

    1. I don't know what type of French cuisine you want exactly the provines have many different tastes. Marcel's is certainly french and good it's of the multicourse light very prepared type rather pricey the entrees aren't so bad, but the wine is pricey, but good. L'Auberg chez Francois is a little out of DC, but is a little heavier authentic french, but good. Bistro du Coin in Adam's Morgan area is pretty authentic and less pricey and has some provencal and parisian faves. Le Paradou was ok for Valentine's Day I don't know what their normal menu is...

      Anyway there are some I am sure people can add in other smaller nieghborhood places I don't know how booked up these places will be... you should probably call soon.

      Palena is a french/italian mix but highly reccommended although you are probably way to late to get a reservation.

      Certainly Citronelle which is one of the best and most pricey in DC is french as is his more casual Central.

      I didn't include more mediteranean places that have what would certainly be authentic french from the southern provinces.

      2 Replies
      1. re: ktmoomau

        I would have added Marcel's, 2401 Pennsylvania Ave. (West End, one of my favorites) but it is more Belgian than French.

        Cafe 15, 805 15th Street NW (Sofitel Lafayette Square Hotel) is pretty good too, but I haven't been in a while.

        Petits Plats, 2653 Connecticut Ave. (Woodly Park) is French, but I've never been so I didn't add it above.

        1. re: dinwiddie

          Also Marcel has opened a more casual bisto-type place, Becks, at approximately 11th or 12th and K, NW. It's gotten very good reviews so far and is apparently very proud its beer lineup (esp. Belgian). (Haven't been yet but understand the food is more Belgian than French.)

      2. One I never see on the list like the ones here is Le Chat Noir. More like a bistro but I really enjoyed it (and they speak French so I get to practice!)

        1. Chez Francois is awesome but I think it's out in McLean and a bit pricey. But sooooooo good. You can look up their info online. Reservations are also recommended unless you don't mind sitting outside on the patio which is real nice too.

          1 Reply
          1. re: xena1441

            Yeah, I actually thought Chez Francois was a decent value compared to other restaurants in town, but deffinitely in the middle of nowhere. Plus, because it is in VA, you can't BYO. Plus, very traditional -- not creative. But still, the food there was very good, and, as I said, I felt a good value. Romantic place, too.

          2. La Chaumiere still makes some of those old style items you just never see anymore.

            2 Replies
            1. re: MsDiPesto

              Is La Chaumiere still decent?
              I'm eating there in a few weeks and remember my last visit two years ago as featuring so-so food among "regulars" who'd ceased demanding quality or novelty decades ago.

              1. re: the sobsister

                We ate at La Chaumiere in January and enjoyed ourselves. Prices are quite moderate.

                Also, Cafe du Parc in the Willared Hotel (approx 14th and Penn, NW) has been getting very favorable reviews on the Don Rockwell site. Haven't been there yet myself but plan to go next week. Also very reaonable prices (judging from the menu posted on their website)