Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >
Jul 30, 2007 10:44 AM

Le Gaulois in Old Town Alexandria

The last time I was there, I was very disappointed; however, I heard that they hired a new chef in the past few weeks. Has anyone else heard anything to that effect? Anyone tried his cooking?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I hope you're right. I live on the brink of Old Town and Le Gaulois has gotten tired, tired, tired. My wife and I used to enjoy their courtyard on a nice day, with nice seasonal dishes and tried-and-true favorites like pike quenelles. It was a comfortable place, albeit where old people generally took their parents, but very nice. It still remains very affordable and has a classic menu, but competition from Majestic, Vermillion, Eve, etc. has made it imperative that they try .... something. Hope bloggers will tell us there is new life there.

    7 Replies
    1. re: jrwood1

      Sadly, there isn't; I was walking down King St yesterday on my way to lunch when I remembered this thread, so I switched plans and tried Le Gaulois again (for the first time in about a year). I went for the steak frites (my standard bistro-gauging order), and was as underwhelmed as I've been on my previous two visits--my medium-rare order came out closer to medium-well, the sauce was simultaneously flaccid and burnt, and it came with a veggie side of what appeared to be a single, completely unseasoned, piece of steamed broccoli. The fries were fine, at least.

      But perhaps the most annoying part of the meal was something that has held true on every one of my visits to Le Gaulois--within seconds of my finishing my meal, my plate was removed and a check was delivered, as though their primary concern was turning the table (even though they were nowhere near full).

      Also, FWIW, I wouldn't call $23 for a steak frites & a diet coke w/ tax & tip "very affordable", even if the food were better.

      Le Gaulois Cafe Restaurant
      1106 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314

      1. re: sweth

        Ugh. That's weak. You could have got the skirt steak, fries, and mesclun at Overwood for less, and they always cook to order. And the steaks are $9.95 on Mondays.

        220 N Lee St, Alexandria, VA 22314

        1. re: monkeyrotica

          So, I've stopped by Overwood twice since this rec, once for a bacon cheddar burger, and again today for the skirt steak special. The burger was good, though a little underdone (closer to medium-rare than the medium I ordered), and the fries it came with were just right; the skirt steak was very good (and a perfect medium-rare as ordered), although very different from a "traditional" steak frites--the cut was a little thicker, the sauce was sweeter and spicier than the pan sauce I was expecting (more like a good barbecue sauce), and it came with potato salad rather than fries (although that could be because I was there at an off hour).

          So while it's not necessarily good bistro food, on the whole, I'd have to recommend Overwood as well, and that $10 skirt steak deal is a real value.

          1. re: sweth

            The steak comes with potato salad. You have to substitute fries, which seems kinda odd to me. Who orders steak with potato salad in a steakhouse?

            At least they put the bbq sauce on the side in a ramekin. Nice for dunking, but overkill if they'd slathered the steak in it.

            1. re: monkeyrotica

              My sauce wasn't on the side, but it was lightly applied to the steak rather than slathered, so I wasn't unhappy with the end product.

              And if the sauce is meant to be a barbecue sauce, then the potato salad actually makes sense, as that's a traditional barbecue side.

              1. re: sweth

                Never thought of that! But to complete the barbecue metaphor, the steak should be served on Wonder Bread with lots of napkins.

      2. re: jrwood1

        I loved the pike quenelles, and the veal casserole and the beef casserole with brandy cream, and the spaghettis de courgette.

        lots of their old great dishes are now history since the new owners took over.

        we won't be back in the foreseeable future, and are now looking for an alternative French with those types of dishes.

        I will miss that lovely patio, though.

      3. I have never been impressed by this restaurant. Too pricey for what they have to offer. Granted, it has been about 3 years since we have been.

        1. My friend and I were so dissapointed with our appetizers we didn't bother ordering our main course. We did order a bottle of wine that was quite good. We happily finished that and wandered down to 100 King for a main course and another bottle of wine. I'd say it's the best decision we could have made.