The following review appears in The Washington Post’s 2017 Spring Dining Guide.
“Is everything to your liking?” a server asks. Indeed it is. My cheese omelet is tender, its greens are sharply dressed, and a glass of Sancerre is keeping me company in a dining room that could pass for a neighborhood bistro in Paris. Fostering the illusion are chalkboard menus, blood-red banquettes and a chef with a French accent: Francis Layrle, a Gascon native who fed seven ambassadors during his tenure at the French Embassy. Lately, entrees have bested the starters. Focus, then, on crackling duck confit, lemony skate wing and lamb T-bone rather than the dreary leek vinaigrette or a saffron-tinted mussel soup with too few bivalves. All’s swell come dessert, with attractions including apple tart and orange cake, the latter offered with vanilla custard sauce. The name is a joke; Piquette alludes to second-rate wine. Otherwise, this is a serious bistro that knows how to make its clientele happy. Dover sole at $50? Layrle hates the high price but loves being able to offer the delicacy to fans when he can.
3714 Macomb St. NW. 202-686-2015. lapiquettedc.com.
Open: Lunch Tuesday through Friday, dinner daily, brunch weekends.
Prices: Lunch mains $14 to $29, dinner mains $14 to $35, brunch mains $14 to $28.
Sound check: 73 decibels / Must speak with raised voice.