Editors' pick

Bistro Francais

Bistro, French
$$$$ ($15-$24)

Editorial Review

2004 Dining Guide
By Tom Sietsema
Washington Post Magazine
Sunday, October 17, 2004

On one side of me, some Japanese businessmen are breaking bread; on the other, a couple of well-coiffed gal pals are complaining about a third who never bothers to invite them over. The remaining seats appear to be filled by tourists and solo diners. Sooner or later, it seems, everyone comes to this nearly three-decade-old bistro in Georgetown. Its lures are legion, starting with a three-course lunch deal that throws in a glass of wine, all for $14.95. The schedule (open till 3 a.m. or later every night) is one discerning night owls can appreciate. The food? It's French, and satisfying. From the standing menu come a robust fish soup, rich homemade liver mousse, lamb steak nuzzled with sauteed potatoes for when you're ravenous and four kinds of omelet for when you want something light. The list of specials can be a dozen dishes long; cold poached salmon with a biting watercress sauce was one recent winner. Seating is knee to knee, but the service is breezy and professional. And the setting -- dark wood, brass rails, big mirrors and yellow lighting -- transports you to a neighborhood joint in Paris, if only for the duration of a meal.