Great New Restaurants 2010: Bistro Provence

25 places that are making the Washington dining scene better than ever

Yannick Cam has opened and closed lots of restaurants since he made a splash in 1978 with Le Pavillon in downtown DC. His latest creation, a bistro with an enclosed patio in Bethesda, is his most casual yet, at least in theory—you’ll still find $18 appetizers. High tabs make some nights’ hassles (forgetful service, late-seated reservations, lackluster cooking) less easy to forgive. But then you come upon a dish that’s a reminder of Cam’s talent—say, a perfectly cooked lobster claw curled over a bed of green lentils or a scattering of tiny clams studded with walnuts and onion confit. The place still has issues to work out, but one thing is without question: When Cam is on, he’s really on. Let’s hope that starts to happen every night.

Don’t miss: Asparagus with custard, chicory, and bacon; tian of spinach, potato, and olive; clafoutis. 

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.