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Jul 4, 2010 07:55 AM

La Ferme disappointing

Went to La Ferme for a relative's birthday dinner and was very disappointed in the food for several reasons. One was that a steak that was asked to be prepared medium ( "no red") came quite rare. This is basic preparation technique and someone wasn't paying attention on a night in which there were few patrons. Another disappointment was that the dover sole was not fresh. A bit chewy and slightly fishy. Sweetbread was good but unimaginatively prepared. Cheeses for desert bland. All in all I found this place to be in a time warp. The dishes were, from what I know of French food, classic French from 40-50 years ago but even so based on our dishes not up to snuff.

This looks like a place where the elderly rich and business people (the few other customers on a Tuesday night) would be quite comfortable but it is not a place for people into food.

La Ferme
7101 Brookville road, Chevy Chase, MD 20815

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  1. They seem to be recently put an emphasis on catering to large groups, which may be taking a toll on the individual diner. The best deal was a fixed price $35, but I think they may have recently dropped it. The food is OK if you want very traditional French food and old-fashioned ambiance - the menu tells the story. I would be very wary of any fish that isn't local, such as "Dover" sole. (there is Dover sole from Europe and a cheap one from the Pacific, but who knows where their "sole" comes from?). Also, the service is quite iffy.
    Souffle is perhaps the best thing on menu.

    2 Replies
    1. re: a1234

      Found that it is only worth going to for Restaurant Week, as indifferent service and only fair food is not worth more than $35

      1. re: a1234

        All these years I thought they meant Dover, Delaware.

      2. That is suprising. The last time I was there the Dover sole was quite good. However, in many restaurants, Tuesday is a slow day and that is the day that the main chef usually has off and his assistants take the helm.

        1 Reply
        1. re: dinwiddie

          I have to say that the service was fine---there were waiters every where and attentive. The only complaint on that front might be that there was no offer of the wine list just a card with wines by the glass. There was no large party on the night that we were there. An assistant chef should be able to cook a steak as ordered and selling fish that is not real fresh should be beyond a "good" restaurant.

        2. Have been to La Ferme a dozen or so times in 25 years. It used to be wonderful. Now it is sad and tired. A shadow of its former self. Still patronized by the mostly elderly, but who cares if the food is good and the ambiance is pleasant? Well, last night the food and service were both seriously lacking. We asked to sit far from the piano player as my friend doesn't care for having to talk over the music. Though the place was almost empty, they led us to a 2-top right near the piano. We asked to be moved and they did. We both started with Caesar salads. I asked for mine with no anchovy. The waiter said well there is anchovy in the dressing. I said - I know, but please do not put anchovy on the top of the salad. He said oh you mean anchovy filet. Right, I said. Guess what? After that whole conversation, the salad shows up with anchovy filet. Not a big deal. I can take them off. But the inattentiveness was a sign of what was to come. I ordered the swordfish. It was a large slap with essentially no seasoning. It was served over over vegetable couscous (a green, flavorless baby food-like mush) with "confit Tomato and basil sauce" - this turned out to be two tomato halves slightly warmed and stuck on top of the swordfish with a sprig of rosemary. Not a hint of basil anywhere. My friend had the venison. She had an entire conversation with the waiter about how to order it because venison can be tough and chewy, especially if cooked past medium. He said medium should be OK. Well, it was inedible. Tough and chewy. She could hardly cut it. And for the first time ever in my life NO WAITER EVER SHOWED UP DURING THE MEAL TO ASK IF ALL WAS WELL. No waiter even walked nearby or glanced in our direction. When the busboy cleared her plate, she mentioned the problem and I asked him to send a waiter over. The waiter showed up and we told him what was wrong. He asked if she would like something else (after we'd already finished eating) and then took the entree off the tab. The desert menu shows up - we decide to share the trio of brulees - mini brulees - one milk chocolate, one pistachio, one honey vanilla. I wanted only the vanilla, but you had to order all three. If you had just three of one flavor, you would "mess up the other orders." I looked around the nearly empty room and wondered how many more orders they would be getting after 8 p.m. on a Sunday night (hours not stated on the website, but few restaurants here are open past 9 on a Sunday night). But whatever. The trio shows up and all three are gummy.

          All in all an unpleasant evening and a waste of scarce dining out dollars. On such a bitter cold night, I should have stayed home and scavenged in my refrigerator.

          La Ferme
          7101 Brookville road, Chevy Chase, MD 20815