Bistro Francais

An up-all-night Georgetown institution.

From January 2002 100 Very Best Restaurants

This Georgetown landmark, which dates back to the bistro boom of the 1970s, has a lot of competition from the area's informal French restaurants, but it remains a good dining value. And if you are not in the mood for a midnight meal in Chinatown, Bistro Français is your best bet for good late-night dining in DC.

The set menu merits attention–you will always find Dover sole at a fair price, and much comfort is to be found in the roast chicken with tarragon jus–but the long list of daily specials is the main attraction. Some of the kitchen's best work is in such fine first courses as the lamb sausage with eggplant salad and such generously portioned main courses as cassoulet, Moroccan-style couscous, a sauté of rabbit with mustard sauce, roast pork with a deliciously crusty potato gratin, and an affordable roast pigeon with truffle jus.