2007 Fall Dining Guide By Tom Sietsema
Washington Post Magazine
Sunday, Oct. 14, 2007
While the ranks of good restaurants on Capitol Hill have expanded with the recent arrival of Locanda and the enduring success of Sonoma, Montmartre continues to set the standard for style and substance in the neighborhood. Indeed, it is one of the smartest bistros in the city, its kitchen every bit as forward-thinking as those I dined at earlier this year in Paris. Sure, you can get snails awash in garlic butter and hanger steak with red wine sauce here. But sharing space on chef Stephane Lezla's menu might also be roseate liver -- crowned with cool field greens, bedded on blue cheese-infused polenta, everything circled in black currant sauce -- and a trio of sweet scallops presented with a fluffy scoop of couscous dressed up with dried apricots and juicy grapes. (Fashion note: The plate is streaked with unsweetened caramel sauce.)
I felt virtuous easing into a recent lunch with a chunky mousse of roasted eggplant and pine nuts scooped up with shards of toasted bread -- "steak tartare" fit for a discerning vegetarian. But the pastry tray will tempt you into breaking any diet with a slice of pear-marzipan tart. Go for it. How often do you get to Paris?
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