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Brasserie Les Halles?

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Is the Brasserie Les Halles downtown any good? I am looking for basic French Bistro food for an early dinner Saturday night and their menu looked appropriate...

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  1. There are like at least 10 different threads on this.

    My personal favorite is Bistro D'Oc for their delicious and traditional french bistro food. I was just there on Saturday (I go about once a month) and had their amazing duck confit and profiterols. You should def. check them out.

    8 Replies
    1. re: Elyssa

      if you go there get the steak frite, i personally love bistro de coin in dupont

      1. re: Casey Taylor Patten

        That's what I was gonna suggest. If it doesn't have to be in town, out in Olney there's always Le Mannequin Pis. Their frites, whether served a la Steak Frites, or with their various mussels preparations are the tops! And their aioli is amazing.

        I like Les Halles for its convenience at times and I think it serves up some good food that hits the spot.


      2. re: Elyssa

        I, unfortunately, don't get to Bistro D'Oc as often as Elyssa (I live in Baltimore), but when I'm there I often find myself getting the cassoulet, since it's something I love that I rarely see on a menu. The cassoulet does have some duck confit in it.

        1. re: Hal Laurent

          I do enjoy Bistro D'oc...I am having a hankering for tartare though :)

            1. re: Elyssa

              Steak tartare...I mean, actually both but steak for the evening I'm thinking about

              1. re: NK623

                If you want tartare there are better places to go. I think the Central version of tartare is incredible- filet mignon tartare with mustard seed mixed in to creat this wonderful set of textures.

                1. re: jpschust

                  thanks for the suggestion. I haven't gotten to Central yet but that will definitely help motivate me!

      3. Les Halles had some service issues a few years back, but today I consider it a reliable standby. I prefer it to Bistro d'Oc (which I also like), but I think I'm in the minority.

        1. It's fine and really useful if you're looking for a place to eat outside midday on a weekend. My wife and I bicycled from Gaithersburg to DC on a Sunday and had steak frites for lunch/early dinner and it was great. Oddly, I work not too far away and rarely eat there during the week.

          1. I think Les Halles is somehow looked down at simply because of its assocaition with Anthony Bourdain. In fact, there are a numbe of very good dishes at Les Halles. They are the only place in town that offers Mussels Billie Bi, which I love. We have never left dissapointed. However, there are better bistros. If you want to stay dodwntown in that area, I will join the chorus recommending Bistro D'Oc. If you are in Georgetown, go to Bistrot Lepic [my absolute favorite bistro in DC]. If near Dupont Cicrlce, try Montsouris or Montematre if you are on Captiol Hill. There are a lot of good bistros from which to choose.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Dakota Guy

              I think you nailed it on the head- it's ok, but really there are significantly better bistros doing better of the same dishes in the area at the same price point.

              1. re: Dakota Guy

                Actually I compare it to the one I went to in NYC...the original...and don't think it's as good. And all those service issues you hear about cast a negative view in my head.

              2. Are the fries here really that good? Or would I get better ones at du Coin?

                5 Replies
                1. re: nicoleberry83

                  Just to chime in to second that emotion...

                  it's ok, but really there are significantly better bistros doing better of the same dishes in the area at the same price point.

                  That being said, it is great for eating outdoors, if you love to eat outdoors (and who doesn't)

                  1. re: nicoleberry83

                    The fries at Les Halles are not significantly better than those at other local bistros. None really stand out in my mind but I don't usually order them.

                    1. re: Dakota Guy

                      For fries, my personal faves are our local Belgian bisto - Mannekin Pis in Olney. Of course, maybe it's the mayo, not just the fries!

                    2. re: nicoleberry83

                      their fries stink -- literally and figuratively! mr. alka and i ate there yesterday, and the fries they brought were lukewarm and had been cooked in old oil. yuck. then when they brought new fries, i think they were the same fries, but just heated up in the same cruddy oil!

                      go there to sit outside and drink Chimay ale. Don't bother with the moules, either. The amount we got yesterday (dinner portion) was not even HALF the size it was last year.

                      And the service! we had to wait for a while for the two servers to stop their personal chatting before they noticed us. no, wait, the one facing out SAW us, but didn't bother telling the other waiter that we came in. just kept on chatting, having a good ole time. mind you, there was only one other couple on the patio when we arrived.

                      i am totally disgusted with what has happened to les halles. will be a while before i go back. (oh, and their wine by the glass (on the specials sheet in the menu) was $18.)

                      1. re: alkapal

                        i took home the leftover fries (i.e., all of them) for the birds. they would not eat them. nor the squirrels. nor the opossums nor the raccoons. now if raccoons won't eat them......

                    3. I have to disagree with many of the others. Like them, I've been to Bistro du Coin, D'Oc and Montmartre. They were all good, but I find the flavors more appealing and more consistent at Les Halles, and find my way there, on average, about twice a month, all year long. And I live in Northern Baltimore County, Maryland with a 1.5 hour drive each way.

                      It's nothing high-class and if you've been to the Park Avenue NYC location, the menu is shorter - and the absolute lack of coconut ice cream is a continual irritation. But the food is solid and consistent.

                      1. I really love the steak frites there. I've been three times and I always get the steak. It's just fantastic.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: maralenenok

                          Thanks for all the advice. I went with two friends on friday evening and have mixed reviews. I thought the service was great but I do not like overly attentive servers as it tends to make me feel rushed so it may be a matter of taste. We had the escargot to start and they were not very good, they were too big, a bit rubbery, not well prepared (found antennae on one), and really quite bland. I didn't think you could mess up the seasonings on these but apparently you can. All of our entrees were yummy though. My tartare was good and prepared exactly as I wanted. My other two dining companions had the quiche and the macaroni and cheese and both were lovely. Profiteroles for dessert which were good as well. All in all I would give them a solid B. Great patio and would definitely go again but nothing to write home about. Thanks again for all help!

                          1. re: NK623

                            What was the mac and cheese like there? This is one of my all time favorite dishes and I'm always looking for interesting variations...especially at higher end restaurants. So I was wondering if they jazzed it up at all? You don't usually see macaroni and cheese on a french bistro menu.

                            1. re: Elyssa

                              It was definitely jazzy...it was ziti with gruyere, proscuitto, and what tasted like some nutmeg mixed in. Very interesting flavor although REALLY rich and a huge serving. I would suggest sharing. If you are a mac and cheese fiend I would highly recommend Zola's Lobster mac and cheese...it is phenomenal

                              1. re: Elyssa

                                I have a mac & cheese rec for you! There's a place in Silver Spring called the Red Dog Cafe and I really enjoyed their mac & cheese dish. It was nothing fancy - penne and cheddar, but it was very well-done.