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
Claudio Pirollo’s menu lacks the innovation of most of the restaurants in its class (his terrific mussel burger excepted), but there’s a reason his cozy Belgian place is swarmed even on weekdays—there’s enormous comfort to be derived from steak frites or a bowl of mussels. The steadiness of the kitchen doesn’t hurt, either. Nor does the vibe: The narrow room has the feel of a low-key dinner party in an exclusive neighborhood—the kind in which talk abounds about European travel, guests try out their French, and name-dropping is rife.
Pastry chef Andras Horvoth has a gift for making the simple seem extravagant. His Belgian waffle is as good as anything you’d find across the pond. Don’t miss: Warm goat cheese with greens; smoked-trout salad; salmon with lentils and mustard sauce; hanger steak with peppercorn sauce; pear tart with Hoegaarden-beer ice cream; profiteroles. Open: Monday for dinner, Tuesday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday and Sunday for brunch and dinner. Moderate.