100 Best Restaurants 2011: Bistro Provence
Comments () | Published January 18, 2011
100 Best Restaurants 2013 100 Best Restaurants 2012 100 Best Restaurants (2011)

Bistro Provence
Address: 4933 Fairmont Ave., Bethesda, MD 20814
Phone: 301-656-7373
Neighborhood: Bethesda/Glen Echo
Cuisines: French
Opening Hours: Open Monday 5 to 8:30, Tuesday through Friday 11:30 to 2:30 PM and 5:30 to 9:30 PM, Saturday 11 to 3 PM and 5:30 to 10 PM, Sunday 11:30 to 3 PM and 4 to 9:30 PM.
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Nearby Metro Stops: Bethesda
Price Range: Expensive
Dress: Business Casual
Reservations: Recommended
Best Dishes Cold cucumber soup with oysters; asparagus with custard, chicory, and bacon; lobster with lentils; clams with walnuts; branzino tartare with quail egg; veal chop with roast potatoes and artichokes; crabcakes; tian of spinach, potato, and olive; crepes wit
Price Details: Starters $11 to $18.50, main courses $19.50 to $36.
Special Features:
Wheelchair Accessible, Party Space

Only the top 40 restaurants were ranked in 2011's Best Restaurants list.

Yannick Cam—one of Washington’s most talented old-guard chefs—trades lobster in Sauternes sauce for hanger steak at his latest restaurant, which opened a year after the shuttering of his formal Le Paradou. The front dining room, with jammed-together tables and fast-moving waiters, feels like Paris—the enclosed back garden, although pretty, isn’t as atmospheric.

Between the two is the open kitchen, where Cam prepares plates that are equal parts refined and rustic. Tiny clams are stuffed with walnuts and onion confit, and a roasted lobster claw is perched atop a bed of green lentils. (At all his restaurants, Cam has been masterful with this crustacean.)

Be prepared for lots of butter and cream—Cam is French, after all—even in innocent-sounding fish dishes such as branzino with clams. Another Cam tendency, alas, is inconsistency. A dessert crepe of almond cream and passionfruit might be ethereal one night, inedibly tart the next. But as has always been the case, when he hits the highs, they’re very high.

Also good: Thick, asparagus-laden custard with poached egg; branzino tartare; crabcakes with mussel cream; roast chicken with polenta; tian of spinach and olives; baba au rhum.

Open Tuesday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday for brunch and dinner, Sunday for dinner. Expensive.

>> See all of 2011's Best Restaurants

 

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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 01/18/2011 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews