100 Best Restaurants 2008: Bastille
No. 58: Bastille
Reviewed By Todd Kliman, Ann Limpert, Cynthia Hacinli, Dave McIntyre
Comments () | Published January 1, 2008
100 Best Restaurants (2011)

Address: 1201 N. Royal Street, Alexandria, VA
Phone: 703-519-3776
Neighborhood: Alexandria, Old Town , Alexandria
Cuisines: French
Opening Hours: Open Monday through Thursday 11:30 to 2 and 5:30 to 9:30, Friday 11:30 to 2 and 5:30 to 10, and Sunday 5 to 9.
Nearby Metro Stops: Braddock Road
Price Range: Moderate
Dress: Upscale Casual
Noise Level: Intimate
Reservations: Recommended
Best Dishes Foie gras on brioche toast with chutney; coq au vin with smoky lardons; salmon in Dijon-cider sauce; pork chops with bacon-spiked beer sauce; hanger steak in shallots and Cabernet; cassoulet with Toulouse sausage and duck confit; crème brûlée; Valrhona ch
Price Details: Starters $6 to $12, entrées $18 to $25.

Cuisine: Modern French bistro fare with international influences. Chef/owners Christophe Poteaux and Michelle Garbee indulge in flights of creativity but avoid excessive tinkering.

Mood: Very Left Bank—edgy paintings, oxblood-red walls, dark-wood floors, and a long bar anchoring the back wall that evokes long nights of Piaf and absinthe.

Best for: Starry-eyed couples and foursomes as well as Francophiles of every stripe.

Best dishes: Unusual wine cocktails such as the pomegranate fizz with Blanc de Blanc and a lemon twist; shrimp-and-calamari beignets with fiery harissa dip; pan-seared foie gras with Calvados-sautéed apples; over-the-top roast chicken with prunes, lardons, cippoline, and Cognac-foie-gras sauce; rib-eye or bistro steak with long-pepper sauce; braised short ribs with red-wine-and-porcini sauce; “cassoulet” with duck breast, confit, and garlicky white beans; savory goat-cheese cake with a sweet-fig Banyuls compote; squash cheesecake with maple-pecan streusel.

Insider tips: Sunday night is the night for diners on a budget: A three-course dinner for $24 offers bistro classics and other choices from the regular menu. More deals: a set three-course dinner Monday through Wednesday for $29 and a three-course pretheater dinner Thursday through Saturday before 7 for $35, with a handful of choices. In winter, ask for a table away from the door; in summer, the patio is charming.

Service: ••½

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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 01/01/2008 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews