January 2007: 100 Very Best Restaurants
This rustic, romantic French/Alsatian cottage is a popular special occasion spot.
Reviewed By Todd Kliman, Ann Limpert, Cynthia Hacinli
Comments () | Published January 23, 2007
100 Best Restaurants 2014 100 Best Restaurants 2013 100 Best Restaurants 2012 100 Best Restaurants (2011) 100 Best Restaurants (2010)

L'Auberge Chez Francois and Jacques’ Brasserie
Address: 332 Springvale Rd., Great Falls, VA 22066
Phone: 703-759-3800
Neighborhood: Great Falls
Cuisines: French
Opening Hours: Open Tuesday through Friday 11:30 to 1:30 and 5 to 9, Saturday 11:30 to 1:30 and 4:30 to 9:30, Sunday noon to 7:30.
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Price Range: Very expensive
Dress: Formal
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Required
Best Dishes Onion soup light on cheese and heavy on stock; crepe with chives, mushrooms, and Madeira-truffle sauce; grapefruit-mint sorbet; choucroute; chicken braised in Riesling with jus and haricots verts; broccoli purée; hazelnut soufflé; plum tart with cinnamon
Special Features:
Wheelchair Accessible, Party Space, Outdoor Seating
Scene:
Outdoor Seating, Upscale
Happy Hour Details:
Tuesday through Friday 5 to 6:30, Sunday 3 to 4.
Happy Hour Days:
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Sundays

No. 33: L'Auberge Chez Francois

If rainbow-colored Christmas lights and doilies aren’t your idea of French countryside dining, this Tudor cottage done up with embroidered linens and stained-glass windows might not be for you. But it is for legions of Washingtonians out to celebrate. Reservations are taken a month in advance, and each table seems to be toasting something—an anniversary, a birthday, the holidays.

You’ll think you’re flipping through a copy of Larousse Gastronomique as you scan the menu, filled with such Continental mainstays as Dover sole meunière, côte de boeuf, veal scallopine, and a lovely split lobster with Sauternes-scented beurre blanc. All are good, but what the kitchen excels at is the heartier, German-influenced fare of owner François Haeringer’s native Alsace. Ever wanted to try antelope? Here’s your chance. The seared medallions come bathed in Roebuck sauce, a flavorful blend of deer stock, red-wine vinegar, and red currants. The kitchen prepares beautiful pâtés, terrines, and rilettes. And the delicious choucroute garni is a feast of pork, goose confit, and foie gras atop a bed of excellent sauerkraut.

If the $60-plus entrée prices give you sticker shock, consider that each includes an appetizer, salad, and dessert, plus little treats such as crudités with herbed cottage cheese, a welcome nibble of quiche, and a palate cleanser of sorbet with candied violets. That, and a lot of good cheer.

Subscribe to Washingtonian
Posted at 02:17 PM/ET, 01/23/2007 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews