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Les Halles closing

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  1. that's interesting, one of the comments below the article says it's news to the staff.

    nice space, but food-wise not a huge loss - I liked it (preferred the NYC one), but how many French restaurants or steakhouses does a town really need?

    any gossip what will replace it? not another Clyde's or celebre-chef mini-empire branch I hope. could do worse, but it is sort of getting Disneyfied downtown.

      1. re: Pappy

        Agreed - at best, that place sucked.

        1. re: aburkavage

          Everything Les Halles did Bistro D'Oc does better, and frequently cheaper.

          1. re: monkeyrotica

            100% agree! I hope something new and interesting goes in there. It's a good space.

      2. Glad to see it go. I was a fan of the one in NYC, but this one was a total disappointment. Bit of a tourist trap.

        1. Good, maybe tourists will start going to locally owned restaurants instead of Les Halles because of the (dubious) Bourdain connection.

          1. I was there last month, mainly because it was close to where a group of us were meeting in front of the Reagan Building. I had moules and frites and a salad and there was nothing particiularly memorable about any of it. The only loss is not having any decent places near the National and Warner, certainly not Aria or Chef Geoff's.

            1. I lived in DC from 1996-2004 and the one time I went was not impressed. I am back in town next week, so I'm just wondering: where does one go in DC for French food these days?
              I used to go to Bistrot du Coin a fair amount 2001-2004, but I've heard rumors that it's on the decline. So, let me have your opinions: where do you go when you want a good French meal in DC these days...especially on a Monday or a Tuesday...?

              6 Replies
              1. re: proclusian

                Bistro D'Oc, Bistro D'Oc, Bistro D'Oc. And now is a perfect time of year to dine there. Nothing like steak frites or french onion soup and duck confit on a cold fall night.

                1. re: Elyssa

                  But Bistro D'Oc, like most others in DC, does not serve all afternoon on Saturday and Sunday. Les Halles was close to unique in this regard. Bistro Francais is another. Where else can we go around the mall for our lazy weekend afternoon meals?

                  1. re: pltrgyst

                    I'm pretty sure Bistro Du Coin serves all day on Saturday and Sunday.

                    1. re: pltrgyst

                      How about Petits Plats on Connecticut Avenue, up near the Sheraton? Serves brunch Saturday/Sunday and a short Metro ride away. High quality food when we were there earlier this year.

                    1. re: proclusian

                      I know its not DC but I like Bastille in old town... not too far from the city.

                    2. Pity. We loved going there for the pate, rilletes, onglet, and a bottle of Cahors on Saturday afternoons. Back when they opened, they had the best cheese selection in DC, a very good selection of Calvados, and a great retail butcher shop in what later became the party room. Plus a blond curly-haired waiter from Texas who spoke perfect French, for entertainment. 8;)

                      Bistro D'Oc is good, but the tourist hordes on that block are intolerable -- far worse than we ever saw at Les Halles. We'll really miss the place.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: pltrgyst

                        plt: tourist hordes? yes, Ford's Theater, the gift shops and the line for Hard Rock are indeed annoying but I always thought d'Oc largely unscathed by the t-shirt afflicted.

                        proc: plenty of good French to be found. Montmartre, Marcel's, Bistro Francais among others.

                        lately there's a binge on Belgian frites around town. sadly I'm no fan of mussels. Beck's, Belga, et Voila.

                        1. re: hill food

                          Don't forget Granville Moore's on H Street. His moulles frites already won a smackdown against Bobby Flay.

                          granville moore's
                          1238 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002

                          1. re: hill food

                            That area can be a bit touristy but I've never found that the tourists venture into Bistro D'Oc. Instead I always feel like it was a well-kept secret.

                            1. re: Elyssa

                              E: HA! at first I thought you referred to Granville's on H NE as touristy but then I re-read.

                              d'Oc does indeed lose that demo.

                              they even avoid the transplanted Waffle Shop. Why? let Marshall Mcluhan or Pavlov answer that one.

                        2. This isn't a big surprise. I'm new to DC, and was thoroughly disappointed when my husband and I tried this a few weeks ago. I figured it's association with Bourdain would mean it had some true French cred, and some quality control. I was wrong. I don't even remember what I had, must not have been great. More memorable, my husband's steak au poivre, something that we thought would be a well done house standard, was horrible. The peppercorns seemed nearly ground, not the classic big crushed pieces. This led to just a very peppery steak, which was in a very disappointing sauce. When a place that claims to do French standards makes such bad steak au poivre, it can't survive forever.

                          1. The tartare, the frites, the hours, the location, the space -- I'm going to miss it a lot, even though the service and the food other than tartare and frites and croques madames could be spotty.

                            As for Bistro d'Oc, I would like to root for the place -- I really would -- but in my experience the food hasn't measured up. Frites were on the wan side, croques were made of toast rather than a cohesively grilled unit, wine by the glass was limited, they don't want your business if you arrive within half an hour of the already-stingy closing time ...

                            1. les Halles had the absolute best location and outdoor cafe patio area in DC.
                              Hopefully whatever replaces it, will make use of the outdoor cafe