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
With so many moules frites destinations around, bivalve-slinging bistros can be hard to distinguish from one another. But Claudio Pirollo’s skinny spot in the leafy Palisades continues to be the most consistent place for a bowl of moules marinières or Provençales—the oblong mussels are steamed to perfect plumpness, and the sauces are richly layered without ever becoming heavy-handed. It’s worth trying the briny mussel burger, but for the most part the kitchen turns out faithful takes on classic cafe fare, and not just at dinnertime. Weekend brunch showcases what might be Washington’s best croque monsieur, but our can’t-miss dish is the nutty buckwheat crepe stuffed with spinach, ham, Gruyère, and egg and served with greens dressed in a shallot vinaigrette.
Open: Monday for dinner, Tuesday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday and Sunday for brunch and dinner.
Don’t Miss: French onion soup; ahi-tuna tartare; duck-leg confit with mashed potatoes and olives; profriteroles; floating island.