The Washington Post
Best escargot photo
(Escargots at Bistro D'Oc by Mark Gail/The Post)

Best escargot

Timothy R. Smith  |  Updated 05/04/2011

Where to find snails in the traditional French preparation of garlic, butter and parsley -- and tasty variations.


Bistro d'Oc

Washington, DC

This bistro across from Ford's Theatre specializes in southern French cuisine. The escargots come in the shell with a garlic-pastis butter; the pastis, a Provencal aperitif, lends the dish a hint of anise. Extracting snail meat from shells with a tiny fork takes practice but feels authentic. Lunch: six escargots $7.50, 12 escargots $15; dinner: six escargots $8, 12 escargots $16.


Bistrot du Coin

Washington, DC

The escargots arrive sizzling in a cast-iron crock with a nicely balanced garlic and parsley sauce that makes an excellent dip. The informal bistro near Dupont Circle feels like a large Parisian sidewalk cafe. Six escargots $7.95.


Le Refuge

Alexandria, VA

When owner Jean Francois Chaufour tired of the garlic-parsley recipe, he made his own: diced tomatoes, onions, veal stock and a dash of Pernod, flambeed. Served in a ramekin, the escargots are eaten with a spoon; their deep-red broth is thick and hearty. The small dining room a block off King Street is charming, with servers who call everyone madame or monsieur. Lunch: six escargots $7.95; dinner: six escargots $8.95.


Le Vieux Logis

Bethesda, MD

The escargots arrive in a six-portion ceramic escargot crock, each opening covered with a round crouton. The butter sauce has more parsley than garlic and a touch of Pernod. A mixed breadbasket offers several options for sopping up the savory sauce. The dining room, decorated in pastel oranges, yellows and pinks, feels like an impressionist painting. Six escargots $9.75.


Le Mannequin Pis

Olney, MD

Mannequin Pis is a gem in an otherwise nondescript suburban shopping district. The restaurant, which specializes in mussels and Belgian beers, makes sublime escargots, as well. The snails, soaked in an ale and garlic sauce, come covered by a dense roof of melted Parmesan cheese. Seven escargots $10.


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Editors' Picks: Best escargot
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