100 Very Best Restaurants 2014: L’Auberge Chez François and Jacques’ Brasserie

Chateaubriand for two. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Lest you have sticker shock when opening a menu at this Alsatian cottage, know that a $75 or $80 entrée here is actually a “complete meal,” which includes an appetizer, salad, palate-cleansing sorbet, and dessert. It’s a style of ordering that has been out of fashion for many years, but the beauty of this flowery dining room is that things haven’t changed in a long time. Those raspberry-and-Champagne aperitifs, gratis garlicky toasts with cottage cheese, and chocolate soufflés are the same as the ones served decades ago, and the fact that the place still manages to feel exciting is a testament to Jacques Haeringer, the chef/owner who took over the restaurant from his late father, François. The main dining room is filled with dressy diners who are often clinking glasses to birthdays or anniversaries; the downstairs brasserie is more laid-back and doesn’t require reservations.

L’Auberge Open: Tuesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner.

Jacques’ Open: Tuesday through Sunday for dinner.

Don’t Miss: Bacon-and-onion tart; mushroom crepe; oysters on the half shell; Roquefort-cheese salad; Caesar salad; seafood in a Champagne-lobster sauce; lobster with Sauternes butter; brioche-crusted halibut with ginger-lime sauce; choucroute garnie, a selection of sausages and meats over sauerkraut; Grand Marnier soufflé; baked Alaska.

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.

Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.