Tables at fine-dining restaurants are known for their fancy patterned-linen outfits, unlike tables in home kitchens, which are notorious for going nude. Dress up for a nice meal with today’s Groupon: for $25, you get $50 worth of French cuisine that charms meat, seafood, and salad lovers at Le Vieux Logis in Bethesda.
Praised by the Washington Post and Washingtonian magazine, Le Vieux Logis (The Old Lodge) charms customers’ taste buds and hearts with delicate French dishes served in an intimate, rustic atmosphere inspired by a French country inn and known for its warm staff and romantic setting. Appetizers such as baked oysters with champagne sauce and caviar ($17.75) transport gastronomers to the Old France of Manet and Monet, when ladies lunched on the grass and men wore pointillised top hats. For when palates are prepped, the chefs create simple, yet enticing entrees, such as flounder dusted with panko and horseradish sauce ($27) and a crispy roasted duck sweetened with Grand Mariner and orange zest ($32), or a tender stilton-cheese-and-port-topped filet mignon "Astoria" ($36). The garden veggie burger ($16) caters to herbivores and is cut from portobello mushrooms and roasted-red-pepper coulis, and sea scallops provençale sauté scallops in a sauce of garlic, parsley, vermouth, and ratatouille niçoise ($29).
After patrons entrust their road steeds to the free valet service for stabling, they are welcomed into the restaurant’s well-crafted ambiance, awarded Bethesda’s Beauty Spot award for its garden-like flair, murals, and ability to solicit winks and whistles from passersby.
Le Vieux Logis
It's fitting that Christian Gautrois and his wife Christa purchased a French restaurant whose name translates to "the old lodge." After all, Christian, who also serves as the eatery's chef, was born in Champagne and learned to cook in Paris before moving to the DC area. Together, the pair brings an Old-World ambiance and classic French fare to Bethesda's Le Vieux Logis.
Terra-cotta shingles, dark-wood shutters, and a hand-painted mural of the French countryside make up the quaint cottage exterior. This rustic theme extends to the interior, which features plush banquettes that sit along walls adorned with Renoir prints and copper knickknacks.
Lauded by the Washington Post's food critic Tom Sietsema, the menu at Le Vieux Logis is filled with dishes that exemplify traditional French cooking.
- Onion soup Les Halles: The soup's thick, rich beef broth is filled with soft onions and topped with gruyère.
- Salade frissée aux lardons: Crunchy applewood-smoked bacon, a poached egg, and garlic croutons make up this colorful bistro salad.
- Cuisse de canard confite à l'orange: Crispy moulard duck-leg confit in an orange sauce pairs with roasted fingerling potatoes, braised red cabbage, and apples.