January, 2005: La Chamiere

A cheerful fireplace and wood-beamed ceiling, a comforting plate of cassoulet, good wine at reasonable prices, a friendly host--you might think you've stumbled into a French country inn rather than a restaurant on Georgetown's M Street.

A cheerful fireplace and wood-beamed ceiling, a comforting plate of cassoulet, good wine at reasonable prices, a friendly host–you might think you've stumbled into a French country inn rather than a restaurant on Georgetown's M Street. For almost 30 years proprietor Gerard Pain has been taking care of his customers with a rare combination of charm and attentive service.

Recent treats from chef Patrick Orange's menu have included a perfectly cooked John Dory, a hearty rabbit casserole, and calf's brain with brown butter sauce. Many regulars go in for the daily specials–crepes filled with crabmeat on Tuesday, couscous on Wednesday, and cassoulet on Thursday. It's always hard to resist the profiteroles for dessert–crisp shells of pastry filled with vanilla ice cream and topped with chocolate sauce.

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