1201 N. Royal Street
Neighborhood: Alexandria, Old Town , Alexandria
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
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
Starters $6 to $12, entrées $18 to $25.
Only the top 40 restaurants were ranked in 2011's Best Restaurants list.
The appeal of this tiny bistro, on a quiet street on the edge of Old Town, isn’t that it delivers soul-stirring French cooking. The appeal is that it’s an old-fashioned mom-and-pop. Christophe and Michelle Poteaux are on the premises daily, giving the operation the intimacy of a family business, right down to the amiable, helpful staff.
Pop does the cooking, and his robust, countrified dishes summon bistros of old: coq au vin, bouillabaisse, a grandmère-style roast chicken. Mom provides the finish, including a decadent Valrhona chocolate pot de crème and a sublime, brandy-spiked apple tarte Tatin. The wines-by-the-glass list is comparable to a good wine bar’s, offering Old and New World selections in a variety of tasting options, including generous half pours.
Also good: Trio of rillettes; pan-seared foie gras with roasted fruits; rock-shrimp beignets; ham-and-cheese sandwich topped with a fried egg (lunch only); hanger steak and French fries; cassoulet.
Open Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner, Sunday for brunch and dinner. Moderate.