5120 MacArthur Blvd., NW
Washington, DC 20016
Neighborhood: Upper Northwest, Palisades
Cuisines: French, Belgian, Breakfast
Monday for dinner, Tuesday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday and Sunday for brunch and dinner.
Price Range: Moderate
Noise Level: Intimate
Endive salad with Chimay cheese and pecans; gravlax with crème fraîche and olive-oil pancake; carbonnade à la flamande; burger with Chimay and bacon; fries; chocolate mousse; Belgian waffle with poached pear and chocolate.
Scene: Food Specials
Cuisine: Sturdy Belgian bistro classics, generous pours from French boutique wineries, a well-chosen Belgian beer roster, and a short menu of wonderful desserts—many of them centered around Callebaut chocolate—make chef/owners Claudio Pirollo and Mickael Cornu’s restaurant one that would be welcome in any neighborhood.
Mood: The modish space could fit right into the bustling bistro scene in Brussels—ivory and orange walls and clear wall panels embedded with grasses and leaves.
Best for: A relaxed meal with friends or a significant other.
Best dishes: Any of the carefully dressed salads, but especially the chopped endive with Chimay cheese and pecans; silken gravlax with crème fraîche and a wedge of olive-oil pancake; a robust carbonnade à la flamande (a kind of beef stew) spiked with dark beer; a flavorful organic Meyer-beef burger with Chimay and bacon; crisp golden fries; a standout chocolate mousse; Belgian waffle with poached pear and dark chocolate.
Insider tips: As good as many plates are, there are some disappointments—the hanger steak and moules with garlic and white wine being two. The owners recently introduced a menu of savory and sweet crepes at brunch, and the early results are promising; we like a version with ham, cheese, and egg.
Open Monday for dinner, Tuesday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday and Sunday for brunch and dinner. Moderate.