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Oct 21, 2009 09:11 PM

Can Someone Identify this Restaurant?

We are visiting our daughter at American University this weekend and she mentioned a restaurant in the area that was recommended to her but whose name she forgot--French cafe/bistro, right near the Washington College of Law/Crate and Barrel. Can anyone help?

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  1. I believe that you're talking about Le Pain Quotidien, which is actually a Belgian chain. It's across from the Washington College of Law on Mass. Avenue. I've eaten there a few times and like it. I recommend the tartines (open-faced sandwiches) and the gazpacho.

    Address for Le Pain Quotidien in Spring Valley: 4874 Massachusetts Ave. NW
    at 49th Street

    6 Replies
    1. re: Gigi007

      Thanks--I've never been to one, but I've always thought of Le Pain Quotidien as a very casual lunchy-type spot, probably not what we'd want for a leisurely dinner. Am I wrong? Any other suggestions for something walkable from American, or else on its shuttle bus route?

      1. re: MommaJ

        You are 100% right. Le Pain Quotidien is a casual lunch spot.

        Sorry can't help you with restaurants near American University though---don't get up to that area that often. But if you are willing to take the metro (maybe the red line) a few stops to Cleveland Park you can try Palena (the front of the restaurant is a more casual bistro, great food at affordable prices, the back is much more formal and expensive) or Ardeo (a great neighborhood find).

        If it's leisurely French you can also take the red line to Bistro D'Oc and Cafe du Parc, both near Metro Center.

        1. re: MommaJ

          You're right about Le Pain Quotidien; you can have a leisurely dinner there, but it's definitely very casual. The only place that I can think of that's not very casual near the WCOL would be De Carlo's on Yuma (a block away from the college). It's nothing special, but a perfectly fine Italian place if you don't want to travel far. Alternatively, I'm not sure where the shuttle bus route goes, but I'd be surprised if it doesn't go to the AU/Tenleytown metro station, at which point you could catch metro and your options open up significantly.

          1. re: sweth

            Decarlo's is at 4822 Yuma St. Hidden. Old School Italian-American in a quiet, very refined setting. This is where to get yer veal scallopini.

          2. re: MommaJ

            Just realized that you may not be looking for places near WCOL per se, but near AU's main campus. If so, Chef Geoff's on New Mexico Ave might be worth considering; it doesn't get a lot of love on this board, but it's not bad, and the pickings in that area are kind of slim.

            1. re: MommaJ

              Based on the location and the description you gave, Le Pain Quotidien is what I came up with. I live in the area and have never seen a French bistro restaurant near AU's Washington College of Law.

              And yes, Le Pain Quotidien is a casual place for breakfast, lunch, or dinner In my experience, the food is quite good and I've never been rushed (at least not at that location). There aren't many restaurants within walking distance of AU, and definitely not any French cafes/bistros. Chef Geoff's is walking distance, but IMHO, the food is mediocre, not every interesting. As others have suggested, if you take the metro (redline), there are some great options:

              Cleveland Park: Palena, Dino (Italian), and Lavandou (French Provencal)
              Dupont Circle: Bistrot du Coin (good French food, but not exactly leisurely)

              If you want French food in particular, you could also catch a cab to upper Georgetown for a nice leisurely French meal at Bistrot Lepic (very reasonable, French Provencal) or to Georgetown proper for traditional French at La Chaumiere (that's where my parents like to go for French and where I took them when I was a student at AU). The chocolate soufflee is to die for and is one of the few places in the area that has it on the menu.

              Hope this helps.

          3. Cafe Ole has good food. Small plates Mediterranean and quite a pleasant space. It is down Wisconsin Ave from Tenleytown, and may be near the shuttle route.

            There is an okay Thai place at Tenleytown as well, Neisha. Average Thai and a fine place for leisurely dinner.