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La Fourchette
By Phyllis C. Richman
Washington Post Restaurant Critic
From The Washington Post Dining Guide, November 1996

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| 2429 18th St. NW
(202) 332-3077

Hours of Operation and Prices
Lunch: M-F 11:30-4; Entrees: $7-$21
Dinner: M-Th 4-10:30, F-Sat 4-11, Sun 4-10; Entrees: $9-$21

Other Information
• All major credit cards
• Dress: casual
• Reservations recommended on weekends
• Street parking

When spring comes, I think of sitting at a sidewalk table and eating garlicky, anise-scented bouillabaisse. When winter threatens, I think of a warm, old-brick dining room and a steaming tureen of bouillabaisse. In either case, I think of La Fourchette, a small nugget of France in Adams-Morgan

La Fourchette looks like a Parisian cafe of old, a cafe with its own cafe - in mural form - wrapping around the walls. Its tables have no cloths, its chairs have no cushions, but it has an air of tradition and comfort. Most important, its menu lists such nearly forgotten French classics as veal tongue with mustard cream, sweetbreads with mushrooms, crepes with seafood or with chicken in cream sauce, and that immense and satisfying bouillabaisse. On my last visit, the menu listed four versions of mussels: vinaigrette, provençal, mariniere and simmered in basil cream with gnocchi and zucchini.

La Fourchette serves such appetizers as a serious onion soup, a deliciously fragile crab and spinach flan with old-fashioned lobster sauce, pâtés and snails and garlic sausage with potatoes in vinaigrette. Among the entrees there are humble omelets and grand Dover sole. Prices are modest - Dover sole at trout prices, entrecôte bercy at hamburger prices. And the cooking is endearingly authentic and sometimes wonderful. Where else can you find on one dessert tray such traditional choices as floating island, filled crepes or tart tatin? As for me, I can't resist the extravagant restraint of the orange sections in Grand Marnier with caramelized orange peel.

   
© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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