A happy French bistro near Eastern Market.

From January 2006 100 Very Best Restaurants

Photograph by Allison Dinner.

THE SCENE. A former post office in Eastern Market is the unlikely home of the city's best French bistro, a warm, happily chaotic place that reminds you that, although deal-making over dinner might be the norm on the Hill, lingering over a bottle of wine and some soulful plates of food has its practitioners, too.

WHAT YOU'LL LOVE. The unpretentious atmosphere and absence of Gallic hauteur or gruffness. Stephane Lezla's cooking is consistently delicious, full of strong, developed flavors and smart but not showy combinations.

WHAT YOU WON'T. The menu changes little from season to season, year to year.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.