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.
Urbana is a hip wine bar with an award-winning happy hour and menu of Northern Mediterranean fare—but that’s only part of the story. The popular after-work destination is located in Dupont Circle, one of DC’s most vibrant and fashionable neighborhoods since the late 1800s. Given this location, the crowd inside is young and stylish, with a mix of locals and visitors enjoying artisan cocktails made with house-infused liquor and selections from an extensive wine list passionately curated by resident wine director Sean Quinlan. In the kitchen, chefs craft dishes from Northern Italy to Southern France, with fresh ingredients sourced from small, local farms and markets. Pastas include squid ink papardelle with maine lobster tail, while main courses feature roasted alina duck breast with celery root and grilled northeast swordfish with a black garlic puree. Nearly a dozen pizzas are also available, such as the prociutto arugula and the carne with hand-crushed tomato and sausage. Urbana also distinguishes itself with its Earthcare program, for which they won the 2012 Mayor’s Sustainability Award. The tenets of this program—sustainability, conservation, efficiency, rooftop garden, green cleaning supplies, and soy inks and recycled paper—find their way into almost every aspect of the business. Produce and meat are organic and locally sourced, and their seafood selection adheres to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch standards. The staff pours organic and biodynamic wines, as well as organic, shade-grown, fair trade coffee. They also eliminated their use of bottled water, use 100% biodegradable packaging, recycle all glass, paper, and cardboard, turn cooking oils and grease into bio-diesel fuel, and compost 54,773 pounds of food scraps each year. Additionally, they grow a variety of herbs and vegetables, and clean the restaurant with eco-friendly cleaning products while humming tunes about the environment.
An elegant coffee shop with a French bakery twist, Patisserie Poupon is filled with luscious baked goods and so much more. This upscale Georgetown destination is delicately lined with confections and fresh-from-the-oven treats of all kinds, including a raved about almond croissant. Locals like to gather briefly at the small café tables, or lounge in the wicker-backed chairs on the adjoining brick patio, where Fido is allowed to relax as well. Of course, no visit would be complete without picking up a luscious French pastry or loaf of artisan bread to take home, along with a café au lait to enjoy on the ride. A variety of gourmet foodstuffs line the shelves and countertop as well, including honeys and small-batch jams, which makes putting together a quick gift basket a cinch.
What would the Mediterranean look like if it were relocated to a dance club? The answer would probably be Muncheez Mania. Amid upbeat music, splotches of UV lighting, and brightly painted cityscapes, the casual eatery’s cooks serve a mishmash of Lebanese, Italian, Turkish, French, Greek, and American food. On flatbreads and Mankoushe that are stretched by hand, they place authentic ingredients such as halloumi cheese, falafel, labneh, and zaatar plucked from Zeus’s lunch pail. The cooks also toss together tabbouleh and caesar salads and stuff pizzas into hot and hungry ovens. Customers can order sweet Nutella or Kinder chocolate crepes, or savory ham-and-cheese crepes from the curbside window that is open on weekends.