In Washington you can eat French food in basements, on porches, in the middle of a sidewalk. Now, with Alexander's III having hired a French chef and moving the menu more towards Gaul, you can eat French food high above the city, lit by the lights of Georgetown, the glow of the Lincoln Memorial, and the shooting stars of jets swinging a course from lower right to straight over your head. The view has always been the thing at Alexander's III. Now, if you pick your way carefully, the food can match it. First, ask for a window table. Then, ask for the lobster bisque - no match for what you can find downtown, but nevertheless pleasant. Or for pate - you may need to add salt or pepper, but it is agreeably fresh and homey. Then beg the kitchen to do you a truite a la nage with beurre blanc. The sweet, gently cooked fish is strewn with onions and flower-carved carrot slices, bathed in a soft, delicate white butter sauce. It is a quietly glorious dish. Beyond that you chance a fairly good, highly garlicked rack of lamb slightly overdone, accompanied by a decent ratatouille, or a beef Wellington properly cooked but bland, soggy of crust and indifferent of ingredient quality. Overcooked shad roe, overhandled tart crust. Alexander's III has plenty of pitfalls, but if you stick to something simple (the prime rib looked impressive) or order what seems to be a chef's whim, you may find the food as spectacular as the scenery.