100 Best Restaurants 2009: Bistro L’Hermitage

No. 93: Bistro L’Hermitage

Cuisine: Formal French restaurants are a dying breed, but this Woodbridge throwback serves reliable renditions from the canon, including rack of lamb, roast duck, and entrecôte—all fortified with intense wine reductions.

Mood: Inside the suburban exterior, the space exudes a kind of medieval charm, with a stone wall and torchlike sconces. Waiters with white towels add to the quaint formality.

Best for: A relaxing dinner after strolling through the shops of Occoquan’s riverfront; a respite from chain dining.

Best dishes: Lobster bisque; Bibb lettuce with dried cranberries, candied nuts, and Roquefort dressing; seared, pepper-crusted tuna with a sauté of artichokes; organic roasted chicken with mustard sauce and perfect fries; rainbow trout over Champagne risotto; crème brûlée.

Insider tips: Portions are large for fine dining, so consider splitting an appetizer and a dessert.

Service: ••

Open Tuesday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday and Sunday for brunch and dinner. Expensive.

>> See all 100 Best Restaurants 

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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 Logan Circle.