Modern French Cuisine | Acclaimed Duck Burger | Onsite Herb Garden | Meal with a View | French Wines
Where to Sit: Ask for a table near the floor-to-ceiling windows, which look out over a sprawling koi pond and lush garden with an original Rodin statue at its center.
When to Go: Swing by during lunch, when the ever-popular Daffy burger is on the menu. This decadent sandwich showcases a patty blended with duck breast, duck leg, and foie gras. The patty is topped with even more foie gras, as well as a sweet-and-sour onion agradolce to cut the richness.
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Dress Code: Come as you are. Although you’ll still see business suits and date-night dresses, 2941 shed its former special-occasion-only image with a complete redesign in 2012, incorporating a laid-back dress code to match its more casual culinary offerings.
Belgian restaurants are muscling into the Washington dining scene in a big way. Mussels and frites can be found in just about every neighborhood, and some of the better restaurants also sport additional Belgian treats. Chef Claudio Pirollo started his career by being named “Best Young Chef in Belgium” and his cooking success continues at his Palisades neighborhood bistro, Et Voila. The restaurant boasts top-of-the-line Belgian flavors like steamed mussels and pommes frites, carbonnade à la flamande and lapin à la bière. Even the atmosphere smacks of the old country, the soft, off-white walls are all decorated with posters featuring local cartoon hero Tintin, and the long and narrow dining area features a classic pressed-tin-tin ceiling.
Behind the brick façade of Plush Gelato & Coffee, owners Dinh and Henry Luong handcraft a rainbow of velvety gelatos and sorbets to match a variety of custom-brewed coffee and lattes. Spheres of creamy gelato scooped away from frosty peaks woo sweet teeth with locally sourced and seasonal flavors such as chocolate hazelnut, nutella cookie, and vietnamese coffee ($3.75 for small; $4.50 for medium; $5.25 for large). Blood orange, strawberry, and mango juices freeze into smooth sorbet with a unique texture that comes from millions of microscopic crystals. Rather than licking a car battery, awaken somnolent palates with a large cup of piping hot coffee ($2.25) or a foamy latte ($3.75).
Before they even cook a meal, Chefs Christophe and Michelle Poteaux go to great lengths to get the ingredients. And they have high standards, sourcing organic and sustainably raised produce and meats from the Virginia and the Mid-Atlantic region. The results are prix fixe dinners featuring entrees such as tarragon-scented Amish chicken roast and hibiscus crème brûlée.
A little slice of Paris, the exterior trim of L'Enfant Cafe & Bar is washed in rustic red and gold, beckoning visitors to enter the romantic, low-lit interior that's decorated in a classic French bistro style. Small, intimate tables are draped in white linen cloths, where servers present classic dishes such as fries served with truffled aioli and traditional onion soup to start. During dinner, entrees such as pan-roasted chicken and boneless short ribs share the spotlight with L'Enfant's savory cr?pes lined with ingredients such as duck confit and sweet, roasted onions.
Follow the tantalizing scents and stroll into Crepeaway, a crêperie originally based in Athens, Greece, which slings a variety of savory and sweet crêpes. Instead of mashing pancakes at home with a sizzling-hot blacksmith mallet, browse the mouthwatering menu and nosh on hearty crêpes such as the Big Papa with cheese, chicken, bacon, ham, turkey, and hot sauce ($7), the Leila with cheese, tomato, and fresh basil ($6.23), or the Antonio with cheese, ham, tomato, and mayo ($6.23). Pair foldable fare with a side of chips ($1), or wrap up filling lunches with sweet selections such as the Angel crêpe with Nutella chocolate, strawberries, and banana ($5.70). Crepeaway is open until 3 a.m. on Thursday and 4 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.